Vienna, 19 November 2008 Press release

Plassnik: "Children carry our hopes and are the future in our hands"

Foreign Minister on tomorrow’s International Children’s Rights Day

Vienna, 19 November 2008 – "Children’s rights are human rights. They must be fully adhered to," asserted Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik today. "On 20 November 1989, the UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. This day reminds us to take a look at what needs to be done and what has been omitted," stated Plassnik.

"The present and the future are a continuum. What is at issue are the children in our world in 2008 and the basis for their further life. Children should grow up in peace to become co-shaping members of peaceful societies," stated Plassnik. The Foreign Minister pointed out that both the Development Cooperation Act and the Three-Year Programme of Austria’s Development Policy set forth that the needs and rights of children have to be taken into account. Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) follows this principle in programming, planning and implementing projects and concrete activities. As partners of ADC, children are taken seriously and are actively integrated into measures which they co-shape and in which they increasingly participate.

"Trafficking of girls, child soldiers, hunger, child pornography, disease, physical and psychological violence - the misery of children around the globe is manifold," criticised the Foreign Minister. "Often there is a lack of laws, often they are not fully and uncompromisingly enforced. The United Nations are the most important forum for raising awareness and for efficient use of resources on behalf of children. At the international level, Austria is committed to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other specific agreements such as the ILO Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, among others," explained Plassnik.

"Children carry our hopes and are the future in our hands," stated the Foreign Minister. "Where opportunities for adolescents are concerned, access to education is imperative; it must be equally open to boys and girls," concluded Plassnik.

Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
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