November 2019 is the 30th anniversary of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to UNICEF, it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, in which world leaders “made a promise to every child to protect and fulfil their rights, by adopting [this] international legal framework.”
More: Read some words from Compassion International’s Senior Vice President of Global Program, Sidney Muisyo, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention!
Here are some of the Convention’s highlights, along with some photos of children in Compassion’s program around the world!
Article 6: Every child has the inherent right to life.
These moms and babies are part of a Survival program in Sri Lanka. Each year, Compassion’s Survival program ensures that thousands of babies beat the odds and make it past their first birthday—and beyond.
Article 7: The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name [and] the right to acquire a nationality.
María Belén’s parents weren’t able to register her when she was born. Today, with the help of the director of her Compassion centre, she has an official identity.
Article 13: The child shall have the right to freedom of expression.
Hector expresses himself through his paintings. For children living in poverty, artistic expression can help them find hope and healing.
Article 19: Protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.
Angelica grew up in an abusive home. Now, she works at a Compassion centre, working to end the cycle of poverty and abuse in her community.
Article 23: A mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life.
“When my friends mocked me because I don’t have normal fingers, my mom taught me to say back to them that this is what Jesus gave me.” – Karunia, a Compassion child in Indonesia who was born with Apert syndrome
Article 24: The right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.
A huge part of Compassion’s child development program is ensuring that children know how to stay healthy and have access to medical care!
Article 27: The right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
Berekey watches her children play in front of their new and safe home—provided by Compassion after the family’s former home collapsed.
Article 28: The right of the child to education.
Another significant part of Compassion’s child development program is ensuring that children are equipped and supported in pursuing an education and achieving their dreams!
Article 30: A child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
These children are part of the Shawi tribe in Peru. The Shawi people are working hard to pass their culture and language to the next generation, despite experiencing severe discrimination.
Article 31: The right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities.
Article 32: The right of the child to be protected from … performing any work that is likely to be hazardous … [or] harmful to the child.
Ebenezer was trafficked and forced into slavery on Ghana’s infamous Lake Volta. He was later rescued when his grandmother reached out to the local Compassion centre for help.
Gifts of Compassion help support the rights of children around the world.
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Quotes from the Convention on the Rights of the Child are taken from unicef.org.