the UNICEF Executive Board opened its first regular session of 2014 by drawing particular attention to the importance of child protection, a foundation for the fulfilment of all child rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
During his opening statement to the Board, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said that no issue cuts as closely to the heart of children’s rights as protection.
“And yet, child protection issues were not part of the Millennium Development Goals – a serious omission,” Mr. Lake said. “Too many countries that have made progress in cutting child and infant mortality … in battling malnutrition and illiteracy … are still struggling to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation.”
With the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) drawing closer, leaders are putting child protection in sharper focus as the world looks to define the post-2015 development agenda.
“Violence against children is a problem shared by whole societies – and the solutions must be shared, too,” said Mr. Lake, who also emphasized the role of partnerships and social movements in galvanizing support for child protection efforts.