The present report focuses on the implementation of the priority themes of the resolutions entitled “Rights of the child” adopted by the General Assembly at its sixty-ninth to seventy-third sessions. It includes a review of the advancements and remaining challenges relating to international and national efforts on protecting children from discrimination and overcoming inequalities, the right to education, migrant and displaced children and ending violence against children.
In its resolution 73/155, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit to it at its seventy-fourth session a comprehensive report on the rights of the child containing information on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with a focus on children without parental care. Children and societies suffer severe negative consequences from the breakdown of parental care. Families may become separated for many reasons, such as armed conflict, natural disasters, migration, discrimination on the basis of disability and other factors, including nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, poverty and other socioeconomic reasons, and policies and practices that do not support families, do not promote family unity and fail to prevent unnecessary separation. Children without parental care are more likely than their peers to experience human rights violations, such as exclusion, violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation.
While comprehensive and reliable data on children without parental care remain largely unavailable, there is growing recognition of the harmful impact of the problem, and Member States are increasingly investing in care reform to support families, prevent family separation and reduce the use of residential alternative care. Still, many challenges persist for implementing a comprehensive human rights-based approach to addressing the situation of children without parental care. The heightened vulnerability of such children is further demonstrated by the lack of reference to them and the challenges they face in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the absence of associated targets.
II. Status of and reporting on the Convention
As at 1 July 2019, all Member States, with the exception of the United States of America, had ratified or acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child; 168 States had ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict; 176 States had ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and 44 States had ratified or acceded to the Optional Protocol on a communications procedure.
During the reporting period, the Committee on the Rights of the Child held its seventy-ninth to eighty-first sessions. As at 1 July 2019, the Committee had received initial reports from all but two States parties and had reviewed all but one of the initial reports submitted. In total, the Committee had received 551 reports submitted pursuant to article 44 of the Convention; 117 reports and 2 periodic reports under the Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict; and 116 reports and 2 periodic reports under the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.