Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement to mark Universal Children’s Day on 20 November:
20 November is an important date for human rights, as it is the date when we celebrate the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 25 years ago. We have achieved a great deal – not only on Germany, but also worldwide. We can be proud of the fact that we were able to strengthen the rights of many children over the past 25 years. I would like to thank all the people and organisations who work tirelessly and with great dedication in this field. This year’s Universal Children’s Day belongs to them and to all children.
But unfortunately, not enough has been achieved yet. Millions of children grow up in the world’s humanitarian crises, and too many children die each day as a result of war and natural disasters. Every ten minutes, a girl dies from violence. I am very saddened by these figures.
This year’s anniversary should thus prompt all of us to do even more to protect children’s rights. The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureates Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are role models for all of us in this work!
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted on 20 November 1989, is in force in more countries than any other human rights convention. In the last 25 years, it has been ratified by 194 countries.
The Convention has been in force in Germany since April 1992. Germany also ratified the three additional protocols to the Convention: optional protocol on the rights of the child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; optional protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (both adopted in 2000); and optional protocol on a communication procedure (adopted in 2012).