UNHCR: Respect for children’s rights in sharp decline

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 By Alfred Koroma

 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has reported that respect for children’s rights around the world is in sharp decline.

He made the report while addressing the opening of the 92nd Session of the Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva on Monday; where he called for strive to ensure children’s rights remain a collective priority.

Respect for children’s rights around the world is in sharp decline, the High Commissioner said, furthering that “Children bore the brunt of efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, notably impacting on their right to education. The reality of climate change is threatening their lives today, and their futures.”

He said children are among those most affected in all crises as they account for 41 percent of the world’s more than 100 million forcibly displaced people.

“In 15 crisis-affected countries, some 40 million children are severely nutrition insecure, not receiving the bare minimum they need to grow and develop in early childhood,” he added.

 Türk said his Office is in the process of finalizing a plan that would facilitate the work of the Child Rights Committee and the other UN treaty bodies.

The Committees will monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties that responds to human rights issues, including ending discrimination against women, and preventing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

“The work of my Office and the treaty bodies is mutually reinforcing, and we will continue to build on your substantive discussions, deliberations and outcomes,” Türk is quoted saying.  “Your jurisprudence, general comments and concluding observations on country-specific situations constitutes essential guidance for the work of my Office and the UN system on human rights at large.”

He stressed on the need for funding, saying under-funding of the treaty body system has contributed to significant backlogs in State party reports and individual communications.

“Advancing the full implementation of treaty-based human rights obligations requires sustainable funding from Member States. It also requires sufficient budgetary resources from my Office,” said.

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