The State of the World's Children 2010

Special Edition - Celebrating 20 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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On 20 November 2009, the global community celebrates the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the unique document that sets international standards for the care, treatment and protection of all individuals below age 18. To celebrate this landmark, the United Nations Children’s Fund is dedicating a special edition of its flagship report The State of the World’s Children to examining the Convention’s evolution, progress achieved on child rights, challenges remaining, and actions to be taken to ensure that its promise becomes a reality for all children.

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A historic decision was made on 20 November 1989, when world leaders adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the UN General Assembly. Since its inception 20 years ago, the Convention has become the most-ratified human rights treaty in history. This is testament to the common understanding among countries and communities that children have the right to survive and develop; to be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation; and for their views to be respected and actions concerning them to be taken in their best interests. Meeting children’s rights is not only fundamental for their development and well-being, it is also pivotal to creating the world envisioned by the Millennium Declaration – a world of peace, equity, security, respect for the environment and shared responsibility – in short, a world fit for children.

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