Video message by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Every child has a right to grow up safe, to benefit from essential services, and to express her or his opinions, desires and needs. Children are human beings with fundamental rights, and their views must be heard and taken into account at all levels of society.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which has been a powerful driver for change. Girls and boys today have markedly better health, more education, and in general, greater freedoms to make their own choices. All around us are examples of children acting to claim their human rights, and the rights of others – standing up to power and demanding change.
But our work is far from over. The rights of many children continue to be violated, particularly children growing up in vulnerable situations, because of conflict, discrimination, deprivation, or other factors.
This exhibition fore-fronts the specific and measurable actions being pledged by Member States, to renew their commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in this anniversary year.
They range from measures to prevent violence against children; policies to ensure the birth of every child is registered, opening the door to essential services, life-long; ending the unnecessary institutionalisation of children; and commitments to ratify and implement the Convention's optional – but vital – protocol to stop the sale of children, their prostitution and use in pornography.
I am encouraged by these commitments. I hope many other States and stakeholders will make pledges to promote children's rights, ahead of the 30th anniversary on 20 November.
Thank you for taking the time to view the exhibition and read about these commitments – and thank you for helping us to promote the human rights of every child.