Category Archives: Human Rights

Child rights: A 25-year Old Broken Promise

Author: Kevin Watkins, Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

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(In this guest post, Kevin comments on this week’s big international development anniversary: the 25th anniversary of the signature of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He’s not impressed)

This week marks an important anniversary in the human rights calendar. It’s now twenty five years since governments signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Stripped to its essentials the Convention is a promise to recognise and protect the human rights of children. The promise has been comprehensively broken.

For my part, I see the 25th anniversary less as a moment for celebration than as an opportunity to reflect on how we can work collectively – as researchers, campaigners, government reformers and international agencies – to deliver on its promise.

This is not to throw cold water on what has been achieved. The Convention is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. It has more signatories (193) than the UN has member states. Only Somalia and (you guessed it) the United States have not signed up.

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An Act of Pure Unadulterated Evil

Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva (@rivefuentes), Head of Research, Oxfam

Seventeen years ago, in 1997, as a young university student in Mexico, I was preparing for my first trip abroad – I moved to Montreal with an exchange scholarship at the University of Montreal. I was quite excited and afraid at the same time. It was a big move for me. Just as I was getting ready, the news from Chiapas, the southern Mexican state, came. Forty-five people – many children and women- were murdered in the rural town of Acteal while they were praying.

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