The landmark UN Convention on the Rights of the Child transforms children from passive objects to active right-holders.
The Convention recognizes that children have views, interests and concerns that should be heard. Children are today's citizens, can act as leaders now and in the future, and are tomorrow´s voters and decision-makers.
But the reality is that, though the Convention is ratified by almost all States, a number of the rights of the child are not respected. The vast majority of public decisions affecting children are made without involving them. That is why parliaments can and must play an active role in guaranteeing full protection for children, who are among the most vulnerable groups. Indeed, as representatives of their constituents, including children, MPs are uniquely placed to give children a platform to air their views—especially those children who are the most deprived and most vulnerable.
We have a long history of upholding children's rights. In partnership with UNICEF (link is external), we help parliaments to ensure respect for these rights, by using their powers to pass laws and uphold them; and also to allocate resources for the implementation of the child-rights related programmes and policies.
We encourage parliaments to be involved in the work of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (link is external), which monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (link is external).
We engage parliaments in the fight against child labour and trafficking in children, as that is key to improving children´s lives. Our work on children's health includes improving HIV/AIDS care, nutrition and other key areas.
Our work on children's rights is part of our overall commitment to human rights.