Rights of the Child: ‘greater political will is needed’

“Every year, half the world’s children are victims of violence in some form. Even in Europe, a quarter of all children live in poverty. These figures are as unacceptable as they are alarming,” said Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Assembly, speaking today in Geneva at the opening of a conference celebrating 30 years of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“For all the fine official speeches, there is not always sufficient political will to protect children’s rights. In fact, children as a group are one of the most likely to face poverty, climate change, migration crises and armed conflict,” she pointed out.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe gives its full support for implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child at regional level. The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, also known as the Lanzarote Convention, which the Assembly initiated, gives practical effect – in one specific text – to the basic principles spelled out in the UN Convention.

“We must not forget that children should, first and foremost, be treated as children, and that what is beneficial to them should guide all decisions made about them,” the President concluded.