VN marks 30th anniversary of convention on children’s rights

Update: November, 18/2019 - 09:00
Children in Y Tý Commune, Bát Xát District, the northern mountainous province of Lào Cai. Việt Nam was the first country in the Asia and the second in the world to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. — VNS Photo Việt Thanh

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s work to protect children’s rights has improved the lives of millions of children across the country during the past 30 years, an official has said.

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung made the statement during an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child on Saturday evening in Hà Nội.

Việt Nam was the first country in the Asia and the second in the world to ratify the convention in 1990, he said.

Although a lot has been achieved, childhood was still threatened in many countries, said Dung.

Many children are affected by armed conflicts or separated from their parents. They are also harmed by digital development, climate change, migration and urbanisation, he said.

Stronger action is needed in Việt Nam and also in the world to achieve sustainable development for children and to protect them from being abused, he added.

Dung said that to have sustainable development in the future, people should resolve challenges related to human resources by investing in quality services so children can live healthily, have good nutrition, education and protection.

Economists had proved that investing in children bring profits for economic development and ensures peace and social development, he said.

“We should commit to taking stronger action to protect and improve children’s rights in Việt Nam at present and in the future,” he said.

Global leaders made a historic commitment in 1989 by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international law for children. So far it has been approved by 196 countries, making it the human rights document approved most widely globally.

Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Việt Nam, said she appreciated the country’s efforts and achievements in bringing better lives for children.

She said many problems had affected the implementation of the convention, so the entire community should take action to better protect children.

With the country’s efforts, mothers have enjoyed better conditions to take care of their babies, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. The Law on Labour 2012 increased maternity leave from four months to six months so that babies can have breastfeeding during their first six months.

The rate of casualties in under-five-year-old children has reduced by 75 per cent in the past 30 years.

Việt Nam has also eliminated many dangerous diseases thanks to vaccination such as polio and newborn tetanus.

The rate of children suffering from stunting due to malnutrition has been cut by half.

The Constitution 2013 was a significant advance in ensuring children’s rights with a separate chapter regulating human rights and detailed articles related to children. The Law on Children 2016 also created a basic legal framework to implement children’s rights. — VNS