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Obviously a human rights approach to a sustainable future on earth is incomplete without 'Children's Rights', which are codified in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The CRC is the most universally accepted international human rights treaty. It has been ratified by every country in the world except two.
It, therefore, uniquely places children centre stage in the universal application of human rights. By ratifying this instrument, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children\'s rights, and they have agreed to hold themselves accountable to this commitment before the international community.
The 'Children's rights' as set out in the CRC are human rights for children and young people under 18 years of age. A separate set of rights has been created for children and young people because childhood is a special and very important time in all our lives. It\'s a time when we do a lot of growing, learning and exploring. It's a time when we are more likely to need others to look after us and help keep us safe. And it's a time that should prepair us for our future. A sustainable future.
Several articles of the CRC that should specifically be mentioned here, would be:
- Article 24, which - in paragraph 2 - says that States Parties shall take appropriate measures: (a) To diminish infant and child mortality;(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care; and (c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution...
- Article 27, where States Parties recognise the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child\'s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. And States Parties shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing.
- Article 29, where States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to: The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential; The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations; The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values; The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin; The development of respect for the natural environment.
The children are our future. We are responsible for their future. They have a human right to live in a healthy, clean and balanced setting on planet earth and thus to a sustainable future.