The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: children’s rights

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Alongside the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly’s adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The Convention now stands as the most ratified UN convention with the US being the only UN member state that has not signed. Children’s rights, apparently, are virtually uncontested. And this is matched by political rhetoric. Across the world, we hear political leaders echo the 1997 sentiments of Nelson Mandela that ‘the true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children.’ Yet, the past 30 years have seen the rights of children continually marginalised, misunderstood and maligned in liberal and illiberal states alike. The rate of ratification of the UNCRC has not been matched by commitment to its implementation. The anniversaries of the UDHR and the UNCRC provide us with opportunities to reflect upon the state of children’s rights, and consider what Australia might do to promote children’s rights at home and globally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-330
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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