World Childhood Foundation

25th anniversary of the Convention on The Rights of the Child

20 November marks 25 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). World Childhood Foundation is founded on the premise of the CRC, the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. On the occasion of this anniversary, we are pleased to share with you a joint statement by Child Rights Connect, Child Fund Alliance, NGO Committee on UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, UNICEF, World Childhood Foundation and World Vision.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Convention on The Rights of the Child: Stepping up the global effort to advance the rights of every child.

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When the international community adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 25 years ago, we made this commitment to the world’s children: that we would do everything in our power to promote and protect their rights.

The commitment was not only to some children, but to all children. It was not only to advance some of their rights, but all their rights – including their right to survive and to thrive, to grow and to learn, to have their voices heard and heeded, and to be protected from discrimination and violence in all its manifestations.

It was a commitment to be honored not only in times of peace and prosperity, but also, and especially, in times of conflict, crisis, and catastrophe.

The commitment to realize the rights of all children was grounded in the conviction that it was both the right thing to do and the strategic thing to do.  For by advancing the rights of children today, we help them become adults who will be able to assume responsibility for future generations – in turn, helping build a more prosperous, peaceful, and just world.

From this commitment and conviction, a global movement was born.  With the Convention as its framework and foundation, and the best interests of children as its focus, it has brought together organizations and individuals, activists and governments, the private sector and private donors, religious and cultural leaders, communities and families, individuals and children themselves.   Visionaries and pragmatists alike – including Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, the two child rights champions who share this year’s Nobel Peace Prize – they have helped change the world.

Twenty-five years since the Convention was adopted, progress is apparent in every region of the world. Infant mortality rates have declined, while school enrollment has risen. Today, the world is winning the battle against extreme poverty; and more than 2.1 billion people now have access to improved drinking water sources and sanitation facilities.

What once was a shared value — making sure children are cared for – is now a legal obligation to act always in the best interests of children, considering child rights in every context and holding ourselves accountable for advancing those rights for every child.   Where once eyes took no notice or turned away when violence scarred or took the life of a child, now voices are raised around the world to demand an end to violence against children whenever and wherever it occurs.

Celebrating this 25th anniversary today, we are inspired by the children who are growing up healthy, strong, and ready to realize the aspirations of the Convention. At the same moment, we are engaged in global discussions on a new development agenda for the post-2015 years.  These discussions are driven by a recognition of how much more must be done to reduce the inequities that endanger children today and threaten their hopes for the future.

For even as we celebrate the progress, we cannot ignore the millions of children, in every country of the world, who are being left out and left behind. Trafficked, forced into early marriage, exploited, abducted, terrorized; having babies when they are still children; dying in pregnancies and childbirths; unregistered and unvaccinated; without access to health services, adequate nutrition, and learning opportunities; discriminated against because of their gender or their religion, their ethnicity or disabilities, their color or their sexuality; living in poverty; living without parental care; living on society’s margins. Their capabilities diminished and their choices limited. Their rights to survival, protection, freedom and identity violated.

We simply cannot – and will not leave these children behind.   Because of what is at stake – the lives and futures of the world’s children, and thus, the future of the world – we must find new ways to reach the children we have not yet reached.

There is hope to be found and nurtured, we are certain, in the human spirit that crosses and defies all divisions in its search for transformation. This is the spirit that speaks to us as we recommit our efforts to make the world a just and better place for all children.

The world has not stood still these past 25 years. There is new science to inform our interventions and our programs. New technologies that offer new opportunities for young people to know their world. Other innovations that change how we communicate and at what speed. A new accountability to children and young people and new expectations for transparency by governments and civil society.

But there are also new challenges – from the impact of climate change, to the ravages of conflict and crises, to the effects of population growth.

It is time for the international community to recommit itself to the immutable rights enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child – and to act, with urgency, to advance those rights, for every child.

Moving forward, we will challenge ourselves in country by country, city by city, village by village, to do even more for children through sustained political commitment, strategic investments, and actions that match our words.

Thus our celebration on this anniversary day is a call — to those who have already done so much and those who have yet to join the cause: to speed up our efforts and expand our sphere of influence and our circle of activists.  It is, most urgently, a call for innovation in what we do, how we do it, with whom and how quickly – so that, soon, all children everywhere will finally and fully enjoy their innate and inalienable rights.

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Joint statement by Child Rights Connect, Child Fund Alliance, NGO Committee on UNICEF, Plan International, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages, UNICEF, World Childhood Foundation and World Vision.

World Childhood Foundation

Child 10 Stockholm 2014

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The C10 Award 2014 celebrates ten global leaders and their fight against the trafficking of children. World Childhood Foundation, Sophie Stenbeck Family Foundation and Reach for Change have come together to co-found the award, to support and acknowledge leaders of the child rights field. The C10 Award Forum is held November 3, 2014 in Stockholm.

The winners of the C10 Award 2014 are ten exceptional leaders, reinventing the fight against trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Olga Kolpakova, Galaxy Fund, Russia: Olga Kolpakovain’s program prevents trafficking and assists former victims. Olga reaches adolescents with a wide spectrum of difficult life experiences. Galaxy promotes an active life style and provides a social network the children would not have had otherwise.

James Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights, Ghana: James was trafficked and sold as a slave at the age of six. After seven years of abuse and bounded labor in the fishing industry, he escaped. Today, he prevents other children from having to face what he did.

Sunita Danuwar, Shakti Samuha, Nepal: Shakti Samuha is the first organization in Nepal to be established and run by survivors of trafficking. They work with prevention and rehabilitation, empowering trafficked women and girls. An important part of the mission is also to educate key stakeholders, work with advocacy, and provide services for survivors.

Elena Timofeeva, Jewel Girls, Russia: Elena Timofeeva rehabilitates victims of human trafficking and increases awareness amongst at-risk groups of trafficking. She is a pioneer in the field of combating and preventing trafficking in Russia.

Sebastien Marot, Friends International, Cambodia: Friends International was founded in 1994 in Cambodia with the objective to assist marginalized children and youth. Friends International reaches vulnerable children and youth as well as their families, saving lives and building futures through the Friends programs.

Oby Ezekwesili, #BringBackOurGirls, Open Society Foundation, Nigeria: Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili is the woman behind #bringbackourgirls, the network-based global protest over the abduction of 200 Nigerian schoolgirls.

Brian Willis, Global Health Promise, USA: Good programs and policies are based on good data and research. Global Health Promise identifies the needs of trafficked and prostituted mothers and their children in communities so appropriate local solutions can be implemented.

Trudy Novicki, Kristi House, USA: Kristi House, the designated Children’s Advocacy Center of Miami-Dade County, Florida, provides a healing environment for all child victims of sexual abuse and their families, regardless of income, through prevention, treatment and coordination of services.

Rachel Lloyd, GEMS, USA: Rachel Lloyd is fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), by empowering young women to play a role in the larger national movement to end the trafficking of girls in the US.

Mikhail Krivonos, RAOUL/”Rabota-i”, Russia: RAOUL program ”Rabota-i” supports orphanage graduates in Russia. Over 10.000 young people who leave these institutions every year have no idea how to live an independent life, which puts them in the permanent risk zone. RAOUL is the place where they can learn how to take care of themselves and find a job for a better, safer life.