Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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Somalia ratifies Convention on the Rights of the Child

United Nations Photo - IDP Camp on the Outskirts of Belet Weyne / Flickr 2.0 Generic CC BY NC ND 2.0

20 January 2015 – The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has signed the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), making Somalia the 195th state party to ratify the Convention. The ratification means that Somali children now hold legally binding rights with the CRC providing a framework for the Government to promote and protect those rights.

Somalia's children continue to face daily challenges posed by conflict, displacement, malnutrition and disease. Child and maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the world. One in seven children die before reaching the age of five mostly from preventable illnesses and a polio outbreak still poses a risk. Only four in ten children are in school while nearly 800 children were recruited by armed groups in 2014.

"By ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government of Somalia is making an investment in the wellbeing of its children, and thus in the future of its society", said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. 

UNICEF has worked in Somalia since 1972 and has supported the Somali authorities to provide basic services including in 2014 providing lifesaving treatment for over 140,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition, providing sustainable water for a quarter of a million people and vaccinating more than 90% of children against polio in accessible areas. 

The organization applauds this important step for Somalia and looks forward to supporting the nationwide effort to translate the rights of the Convention into practical action for every child. 

"The central message of the Convention is that every child deserves a fair start in life", said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. "What can be more important than that?"

The ratification process will be finalized once the Government of Somalia deposits the instruments of ratification with the United Nations in New York. Two countries – South Sudan and the USA - have yet to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which articulates a set of universal children's rights, based on four core principles:

  • non-discrimination;
  • the best interest of the child as primary consideration in matters that affect them;
  • rights to life, survival and development;
  • and respect for the views of children. 

Source: UNICEF

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