On the eve of World Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November, the House of Peoples’ Representatives lights up in blue to signify Ethiopia’s support for child rights.
Countries across the world are lighting up their national landmark buildings in blue as a symbol of their commitment to child rights. Globally, the buildings include the European Parliament in Brussels, the Shanghai Tower in China, the Acropolis in Greece, the Panama Canal in Panama, the Monument for African Renaissance in Senegal, and the El Noor Mosque in New Zealand, where 51 people were killed in a terrorist attack earlier this year.
“When UNICEF approached me to consider lighting up the House of Peoples’ Representatives in blue, I welcomed the idea since this is the Ethiopian peoples’ house and it represents everybody, including the 41 million children of Ethiopia,” said Speaker of the House His Excellency Tagesse Chafo, in remarks read on his behalf by H.E Ms Abeba Yosef, Chair of Social Affairs Standing Committee. “Another reason is that Ethiopia has been in the forefront of advancing child rights globally. We have organized many international conferences on children and some have been held right here in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is also among countries in the world that have made great advances for children’s rights.”
Since its adoption 30 years ago, the CRC has been the centrepiece of global progress. Child survival rates have improved, millions of children have been lifted out of poverty, and more children are now in school than ever before. These achievements are proof that where there is political will and determination, children’s lives improve.
However, not every child has benefited from these gains. Millions of children are still suffering violations of their rights when they live in conflict or are denied adequate healthcare, nutrition, education and protection from violence, among others.
Ethiopia ratified the CRC in 1991 and it has also incorporated into domestic laws. Furthermore, the constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia stipulates that fundamental rights and freedoms are to be interpreted in conformity with the international bill of human rights.
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