Senator Simon Birmingham has used today’s 20th anniversary of a landmark human rights treaty to urge support for UNICEF in its ongoing work to save children’s lives.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 20 years ago by the United Nations General Assembly and has become the most ratified human rights treaty.
The Senate yesterday unanimously passed a motion moved by Senator Birmingham to mark the anniversary and recognise the Convention’s continued importance in saving and improving the lives of children around the world.
“On this 20th anniversary of the Convention, we are reminded by the release of a major UNICEF report on global children’s issues that we still have much to do to ensure children from every country are protected,” Senator Birmingham said today.
The State of the World’s Children report reveals:
  • 150 million children are involved in child labour
  • 101 million children do not attend primary school
  • 22 million children do not receive routine immunisation
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked each year
“While there has been much progress on children’s survival and development issues, it is clear from this report that there remains an overwhelming need in many basic areas to curb the number of children dying from disease and poverty,” Senator Birmingham said.
“As Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF, I’m proud to support the great work of UNICEF as they strive to ensure the wellbeing of children all over the world.
“It is my hope that all children enjoy a happy and healthy childhood but for that to happen much more needs to be done by governments, business and individuals.
“Just $10 can secure an insecticide treated bed net guarding against malaria-carrying mosquitoes, while $165 buys enough sachets of high protein paste Plumpy’nut to bring two severely malnourished children back to full health.
“I encourage any Australian who can support UNICEF in their vital work to save children’s lives to do so.”
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.