20th November Universal Children?s Day
JOINT STATEMENT OF THE SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN CHILDREN´S RIGHTS OMBUDSPERSONS´ NETWORK Universal Children?s Day, celebrated on 20th November, the date when UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of a Child, is the occasion for members o
20th November Universal Children’s Day
JOINT STATEMENT OF THE SOUTH EAST EUROPEAN CHILDREN´S RIGHTS OMBUDSPERSONS´ NETWORK
Universal Children’s Day, celebrated on 20th November, the date when UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of a Child, is the occasion for members of the South East European Children’s Rights Ombudspersons’ Network to call the authorities of their respective countries to adopt measures for protection of most vulnerable categories of children and prevent undesirable effects of antirecession measures in the interest of such children.
Many children live in poverty. Time of recession and crises directly impacts on the quality of life of the children and endangers a number of their rights, including the right to survival and development.
Therefore, it is important to reiterate to the governments of the South Eastern Europe not to save on children and reduce means and programs designed to improve position of the children in the society, and remind them once again that the best interest of a child has to be our common priority in all areas of activities.
The Convention on the Rights of a Child is not just a list of good wishes. It is a binding document. This means that both state and the society are obliged to find out possibilities for more effective protection of the rights and interests of children, as well as to broaden possibilities for their active inclusion and participation in society.
Investments in children harvest long-term effects. It is an investment in future, which makes us committed to provide the children with the best attention, love and care, and effective assistance in their growing up.
Therefore, we call states of South East Europe, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of a Child, to fulfill commitments taken over through ratification of the Convention, and to ensure for all children:
• care and protection as envisaged in the Convention on the Rights of the child
• enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and access to health care services
• Appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities, including social welfare measures, where necessary.
• Right to free and accessible education for all children
We call the governments not to allow poverty to cause social exclusion of children, particularly vulnerable such as poor children, children with difficulties in development, children without parental care and children belonging to minority groups.
We invite all institutions, individuals and groups to join us in the work on promotion and protection of children´s rights and always to act and make decisions in the best interest of a child.