UN: UN lauds Somalia's ratification of child rights treaty

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led a chorus of UN officials in hailing Somalia’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in renewing the call for the last remaining country that has yet to join the treaty to do so.

Somalia deposited its instrument of ratification at UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday
during the annual treaty event, held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly’s high-level
debate, formalizing the process of ratification started earlier this year.

In doing so, the Horn of Africa nation became the 196th State party to the most widely ratified
human rights treaty in history. The US is now the only country that has not ratified it.

A UN statement issued on Friday, quoted the UN chief as welcoming the Government of Somalia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, an important measure which binds the government to ensure specific protections for all children in the country.

Adopted in 1989, the Convention is the world’s strongest commitment to promote and
respect the human rights of children, including the right to life, to health, to education and
to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence and from any form
of discrimination, and to have their views heard.

Ban also encouraged the US to join the global movement and help the world reach the
objective of universal ratification, and affirmed the UN’s support in these efforts.

Also welcoming Somalia’s ratification was Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN
Children’s Fund (UNICEF); Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children
and Armed Conflict; Marta Santos Pais, UN Special Representative on Violence
against Children and Benyam Dawit Mezmur, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the
Rights of the Child.

In a joint statement, they said: "Somalia’s action is a significant and very welcome
step toward realizing the rights of the country’s 6.5 million children, who face enormous
challenges.

"Somalia today has one of the highest under-five mortality rates in the world, alarming
malnutrition rates, and very high levels of violence affecting children.

"By becoming the 196th nation to ratify the Convention, Somalia has committed to
uphold the dignity and worth of every child and translate the obligations of the CRC
into concrete actions, especially for those children in greatest need and at greatest
risk."

In a separate statement, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, welcomed
the ratification and repeated its call for universal ratification of the Convention, adding
that it looked forward to engaging with the US.

The Committee, which monitors implementation of the treaty, also urged States to
ratify the three Optional Protocols to the Convention that deal with protecting children
from trafficking, prostitution and child pornography, prohibiting their recruitment in
armed conflict, and allowing children to bring forward their complaints to the UN if
their rights are being abused.

Somalia was among 24 Member States that undertook 31 treaty actions during this
year’s event at UN Headquarters, on legal instruments covering issues such as
human rights, international trade and development, penal matters, disarmament,
and environment, among others.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  2Oct2015

02 october 2015 18:54:36




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