World Youth Alliance Statement on the Occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

World Youth Alliance, a global coalition of young people promoting the dignity of the human person in policy and culture, marks the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child with great hope and determination. Much progress has been made in terms of recognizing the inherent dignity of the child, which is the foundation for every human right, including children’s rights. As young people, we look forward to working in solidarity with the international community to foster a culture in which the dignity, or intrinsic worth, of children is recognized and promoted by everyone.


The rights of children must be respected and viewed in the context of family, which is the fundamental group unit of society. The family is the place where children first understand that all human beings have intrinsic dignity, and that solidarity is the foundation of just human interactions. Family is the context in which we all learn that we have worth that is not dependent on time, place, stage of development, intelligence, or social status. The family is often the first place that children learn about what it means to love.


On this occasion, World Youth Alliance takes this opportunity to encourage state parties to support and protect the family in order to fully secure the rights of children. Article 5 of the Convention explicitly recognizes the “responsibilities, rights and duties of parents…to provide…appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.” Parents need to be encouraged to fulfill their responsibilities and duties as primary educators of their children. This alone can help to secure the rights of the child and to build solidarity among generations.


Download the statement in pdf form here.