Highlighting the plight of millions of children around the world, the head of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called on everyone to recommit themselves to protect the rights of every child.
November 20 was Universal Children's Day, UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake said protecting the rights of children protected “our common future”.
Established in 1954, the UN Universal Children's Day promotes international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children's welfare.
It also marks the day in 1989 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty that changed the way children are viewed and treated as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity.
In a statement, Lake called on the world to confront the "uncomfortable truth" that around the planet, the rights of millions of children are being violated every day.
He referred to the dire humanitarian situation of children in war-torn Syria and Yemen; the threat posed by extremists in northeastern Nigeria, particularly against girls; and the severe nutrition crisis facing millions of children in South Sudan.
Cautioning on the long-term impact of these violations in how children may view the world when they grow up and how they will perceive others' rights when their own rights are violated, Mr. Lake underscored that by protecting the rights of children, the world is infact protecting its common future.
"These children are the future leaders of their societies [...] the future parents and protectors of the next generation," he highlighted.