Six things to remember about children's rights

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20 November 2024 will mark the 35th anniversary of theème anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is an opportunity to take a closer look at this founding text and to highlight 6 key points. 

Activities within the framework of the Enlight project in the vicinity of Chennai. The project enables girls from the Adi-Dravida (untouchable) caste to access quality education and build a better future. India, October 2022. Gilles Oger
  • The rights of the child are detailed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CIDE)The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding text in history to recognise children as subjects in their own right, with economic, social, political, civil and cultural rights - all fundamental, binding and non-negotiable rights. The text was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. 
  • The CRC includes 54 items and reiterates the right of every child to have a name, a civil status, to be cared for, to be protected from violence, to be free from war, to live in decent conditions, to play and to have leisure activities... Article 28 specifically refers to the right of every child to have free access to quality education and learning
  • The Convention is based on 4 guiding principles namely the best interests of the child, survival and development, non-discrimination and the participation of children in all matters affecting them. Over the years, the Convention has developed three protocolsThe third allows any child to lodge a complaint about a violation of his or her rights directly with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. 
  • Children's rights are only truly effective and efficient if every child can enjoy all the rights guaranteed by the Convention, without discrimination and unconditionally. It is therefore essential to consider the rights of the child as inseparable from each other.
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  • The Convention was signed and ratified by 197 StatesIn doing so, they undertake to defend and guarantee the rights of children without distinction. To date, only the United States has not ratified this text. Unlike other states, it is therefore not subject to periodic review by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Made up of independent experts, this committee monitors the implementation of the CRC through reports submitted by governments and civil society on the situation of children's rights in their country. 
  • The France's most recent periodic review date of May 2023. While many advances have been recognised, the experts on the Committee on the Rights of the Child have nevertheless encouraged France to eradicate child poverty in its territory and to improve access to and the quality of education for marginalised or disadvantaged children. On the issue of children's rights in the context of France's international cooperation policy, the Committee praised the prioritisation of children's rights in the context of the Programming law on inclusive development and the fight against global inequalities (LOPDSLIM)This law guides France's development policy as much as its humanitarian actions. But it encouraged France to implement this prioritisation in its development and humanitarian projects, to increase its development aid to 0.7% and to assess the impact of its international cooperation policy on the specific issue of children's rights. 
Benin girl - menstrual hygiene