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The year of the healthy child
25 Years of the Convention: Has the World Become a Better Place for Children?
On November 20, Tashkent celebrated not only the Universal Children’s Day, but also the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the major human rights treaty that sets out the main rights of children. The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on November 20, 1989 and it came into force in 1990, while the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was adopted on the same day in 1959.
The Convention considers children as individuals rather than subjects of rights as it was prior to the adoption of this document. Today 54 articles of the convention cover various aspects of children’s rights.
In December 1992, Uzbekistan was one of the first countries in Central Asia to accede to the Convention, showing its intention to take great care of the social protection of motherhood and childhood, as well as to create the necessary conditions for the development and education of minors in the spirit of universal values. The county adopted the Law on ‘Guarantees of the Rights of the Child’ in 2007 to ensure the rights of children in healthcare, education, social welfare and other areas. The law placed particular emphasis on the protection of vulnerable children.
In April 2008, the Law ‘On Amendments and additions to some acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan in connection with improvement of legislation on the protection of minors’ came into a force to protect the rights and interests of minors, and increase the effectiveness of prevention of illegal encroachments on the rights of minors. In addition, the country has the laws ‘On education’ and on ‘On protection of health of citizens’, which create opportunities for continuing education, using health services and restoring the health of children. A number of state and nongovernmental organizations working in Uzbekistan are focused on the protection of the rights and interests of children. This includes the Commission of Minors, ‘Kamolot’ Public Youth Movement, the Children’s Fund ‘Sen Yolg’izEmassan’ (You are not alone) to support orphans and children left without parental care, children with disabilities, and children from lowincome families among others.
The adoption of the state program ‘The Year of the Healthy Child’ was an important step in improving the protection of mothers and children. The program includes a package of measures to support and develop physically healthy, spiritually mature and harmoniously developed generation. According to the ratings of ‘Save the Children’ organization, Uzbekistan ranks among the top 10 countries in the world for children’s health care. UNICEF Representative Office in Uzbekistan held a ceremony in Tashkent to mark the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Opening the event, UNICEF Representative Mr. Robert Fuderich, noted that «2014 is a special year for two reasons. First, it has been announced as the Year of the Healthy Child in Uzbekistan, and second, we mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Uzbekistan signed the Convention in 1992 soon after it gained its independence and ratified it in 1994. Following the ratification, the governments have to modify existing or develop new laws and measures that will fully comply with the CRC.
However, not only the government, but also all members of society should focus on the goals of the Convention.» Following the talks, the sides noted the need to explore and share Uzbekistan’s experience in creating the most favourable conditions for the birth of healthy children and their development, improving the quality of maternal and child healthcare, promoting the participation of public organizations in this area.
Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper, #48 (424), November 28, 2014