Nearly 25 years ago, the world made a promise to children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential. In spite of the overall gains, there are many children who have fallen even further behind. Old challenges have combined with new problems to deprive many children of their rights and the benefits of development.
To meet these challenges, and to reach those children who are hardest to reach, we need new ways of thinking and new ways of doing - for adults and children.
There is much to celebrate as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention, from declining infant mortality to rising school enrolment, but this historic milestone must also serve as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full rights on par with their peers.
Children in the World
Today, there are more than 2.2 billion children on Earth. Nearly two billion of these live in a developing country.
Depending on the country in which they reside, a child will not enjoy the same rights or conditions of life as their Western counterparts. Many regions and countries in the Third World face great disparities, and the factors in question, whether political, economic, social, cultural, ethnic or religious, can have a different impact on each child.
Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, the situation faced by the children of our world is still desperate. The most fundamental rights of minors are violated in most parts of the world, and even in the most economically developed countries not all children benefit from the same rights.
Poverty remains the principal cause of the violation of the Rights of the Child because lack of funds seriously impedes access to their basic human needs: healthcare, water, food and education. In the countries which are least affected by poverty, children generally have the chance to enjoy these rights, although many are still victims of violence, abuse or discrimination.