Increasing economic and social disparities pose a threat to children’s rights, Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon said today, stressing that much more needs to be done to safeguard millions of young people around the world.
“There is great concern throughout the world about increasing economic and social disparities,” Mr. Ban said in his message to the Second Forum on the Rights of the Child, hosted in Stockholm, Sweden.
“Children from marginalized, remote and impoverished communities, and those who are living with disabilities or who belong to minority or indigenous populations, are at greater risk of not enjoying their rights to health, education and to protection from violence, exploitation and abuse,” he added.
Mr. Ban stressed that while the Convention on the Rights of the Child has led to great advances to protect children’s interests and well-being, “much remains to be done to make the promises in the treaty a reality.”
Mr. Ban welcomed the forum’s decision to focus on the third article of the Convention, which states that in all actions concerning children, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration, and reiterated his commitment to stand up for children’s rights, emphasizing that the issue is a top priority across the UN system.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was created in 1989, and it is the most widely ratified international human rights instrument in history. It outlines the basic human rights that children around the world have including the right to survival, to develop to the fullest, to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation, and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life, among others.