Children's rights: what is the situation in France and in the world?

Photo credit: Vincent Reynaud-Lacroze

Associations, NGOs and collectives, including Aide et Action, gathered in a dynamic "From Convention to Acts" published on the occasion of the 31ème On the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an observatory on the rights of the child in France and internationally. Bitter observation: even if some progress has been made, the trend is rather downward, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In France, for example, we applaud the development in 2020 of a national strategy for the prevention and protection of children, the first monitoring committee of which was held on 19 June 2020 under the chairmanship of Adrien Taquet. The publication of decree 2020-811, which simplifies the list of documents required for school enrolment for families in precarious housing situations, is also welcome. Despite this, the good news on children's rights is rather meagre this year in France. Internationally, progress is lacking, notes The "Convention to Action" Dynamic. The latter, which brings together nearly 40 associations specialising in the defence of children's rights in France and internationally, including Aide et ActionOn the occasion of November 20, 2020, the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations, "One more year without a guarantee for the Rights of the Child", an observatory on the rights of the child in France and internationally. 

Is Covid-19 responsible for a decline in children's rights?

And it is clear that in the year 2020, progress is far from what was hoped for. Internationally, the situation has clearly deteriorated, mainly due to the VID-19 pandemic, with an increase in the number of poor children, a multiplication of deaths of children under 5, and an increase in the number of children who have dropped out of school... In France, the objective of "zero children on the street" by 2022 now seems unattainable. On the eve of the start of the new school year, 1,438 children slept on the streets or in makeshift shelters due to a lack of space in emergency accommodation or social housing. The government's recovery plan, which contains a budget of 100 million euros, does not even provide for the creation of additional accommodation places, despite the growing demand from families.

Mobilised for the effective implementation of children's rights

Just one year ago, the From Convention to Action! celebrated the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the United Nations by publishing the booklet  "Rights of the Child: From convention to action". This document brought together 12 strong political acts, broken down into 69 concrete proposals. It was submitted to numerous political figures with a view to the effective implementation of the rights of the child set out in the CIDE. One year later, the Dynamics wanted to list the progress, setbacks and stagnation in 8 major areas, namely Governance, Education, Health, Participation, Precariousness, Environment, Justice and Protection. The conclusion is clear: there is still a lot to be done for a real implementation of children's rights. The new booklet, available for download here, proposes a series of recommendations to improve the situation. It is to be hoped that French policy makers will take them up before the 32nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.ème anniversary and make children's rights a national and international priority.  

Click here to download the Observatory


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