The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which turns 27 on Sunday, has been “put to the test” with the current migratory flow, with children representing almost half of the people on the move, Unicef said.
Speaking to Lusa from Geneva, Sarah Crowe, UNICEF spokesperson for UNICEF, acknowledged that the current political response to migration flows “is not in many cases what Was expected from countries that have signed the CDC for decades, “specifying that” child protection systems across Europe have also been put to the test. ”
“Children need to be protected in the context of this phenomenon,” he said, lamenting that “too often” countries put “national interest above the interests of children.”
Conflicts and climate change will continue to trigger large movements of people in the future, “unpredictable and little of the interest of children,” he said, stressing that “children do not know if they are migrants or refugees, they are children in the first place.”
Determining the best interests of children is the key. “It is in their best interest to be sitting in a refugee camp in Greece, waiting months and months for lifting various obstacles so they can join their families in other parts of Europe,” he said.
The children who are now in Greece, he recalled, “were out of school on average 20 months” and “this goes against all the principles of the Convention.”
At the same time, he recalled, “the vast majority of refugee and migrant children flee to neighboring countries.” For example, “most Syrian children are not in Europe, they are in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey.”
The CDC is the most internationally signed and ratified treaty (only the United States has done neither).
It is a document “strong, solid, powerful, clear, well-defined,” said Crowe, arguing that it does not need to be revised because “everything is there” and that its principles “are constantly being scrutinized by the Committee on the Rights of the Child “.
What is needed is to “return to the essential” and “remind the States, in times like these, of the noble principles of the HRC”, that “it remains an important document, that we need to celebrate it, protect it and leave us Guiding it, “Crowe said.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted at the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989.