Wien, 20. November 2012 Press release

Advocating for children's rights is one of Austria's fundamental priorities in terms of human rights

Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger on the International Children's Day

Vienna, 20 November 2012 – "On 20th of November we celebrate the adoption of the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child which has been ratified by nearly all states of the world since then. This Convention was a milestone; it illustrated that children are not simply small adults but personalities with their own rights and needs that we must take seriously", Austrian Vice-Chancellor Spindelegger said on the occasion of the International Day of the Rights of the Child.

Austria ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child precisely twenty years ago. A great deal has been achieved since then in terms of implementing the rights ensured by the Convention – both in Austria and internationally. "Austria strongly advocates the further development of children's rights in international forums, and in our dialogue with other states we directly address areas where the implementation of the rights of the child are problematic. We have achieved a lot over the past few years, for example better protection of children in armed conflict; progress has been made in the prevention of violence against children in prison and in the international cooperation in the combat of child trafficking", Spindelegger continued.

Regrettably, the 20th of November is not only a day of joy: "In the past year, we have received many shattering reports, such as reports about torture and severe abuse of children in Syria or the attack on 15-year old Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan who had been fighting for the rights of girls in her country. So we have to bring to mind that many joint efforts are still needed to make the rights of the child a reality for all children in the world. Commitment to this objective is one of Austria's most important priorities in the field of human rights", the Minister concluded.

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