ADDIS ABEBA – On the eve of World Children’s Day and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November, the House of Peoples’ Representatives lights up in blue to signify Ethiopia’s support for child rights.
Countries across the world are lighting up their national landmark buildings in blue as a symbol of their commitment to child rights.
Globally, the buildings include the European Parliament in Brussels, the Shanghai Tower in China, the Acropolis in Greece, the Panama Canal in Panama, the Monument for African Renaissance in Senegal, and the El Noor Mosque in New Zealand, where 51 people were killed in a terrorist attack earlier this year.
“When UNICEF approached me to consider lighting up the House of Peoples’ Representatives in blue, I welcomed the idea since this is the Ethiopian peoples’ house and it represents everybody, including the 41 million children of Ethiopia,” said Speaker of the House Tagesse Chafo, in remarks read on his behalf by MP Abeba Yosef.
“Another reason is that Ethiopia has been at the forefront of advancing child rights globally,” she said.
“We have organized many international conferences on children and some have been held right here in Addis Ababa,” the MP continued. “Ethiopia is also among countries in the world that have made great advances for children’s rights.”
Since its adoption 30 years ago, the CRC has been the centerpiece of global progress. Child survival rates have improved, millions of children have been lifted out of poverty, and more children are now in school than ever before.
Unicef says these achievements are proof that where there are political will and determination, children’s lives improve.
However, not every child has benefited from these gains.
“Millions of children are still suffering violations of their rights when they live in conflict or are denied adequate healthcare, nutrition, education and protection from violence, among others,” the UN agency in a statement sent to the Monitor.
Ethiopia ratified the CRC in 1991 and it has also incorporated into domestic laws.