Joining Forces – June 26 2019

Six leading NGOs call for a ‘second revolution’ for children’s rights

SOS Children’s Villages International and other leading child-focused NGOs call on governments to take bold action to fulfill their commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The ‘Joining Forces Alliance’ — an alliance of the six leading child-focused organisations - launched its report, “A Second Revolution: 30 years of child rights, and the unfinished agenda”, during an event today at the United Nations.

The report, presented to UN representatives, notes achievements made since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 30 years ago, but also highlights major shortcomings in reaching all children.

“It is the most vulnerable children the world overlooks – those facing extreme poverty, the young living in fragile states, refugees, and children with disabilities,said Meg Gardinier, Chair of the Joining Forces CEO Oversight Committee.

“When it comes to translating commitments into lasting change, we have fallen short and we must do better. This is a moral, legal and economic failure that the world can ill afford,” Ms Gardinier continued.

Each year, over five million children die from preventable causes, and nearly half of these deaths are attributable to undernutrition, the report finds. Discrimination and social exclusion are other key factors why children countinue to suffer.

Norbert Meder, CEO, SOS Children's Villages International said: "Children who have lost parental care or are at risk of losing parental care are often among those left behind. It is an imperative for us to join forces with child-focused agencies and to work with governments to uphold the promise of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. "

The Joining Forces Alliance calls on governments to implement legislation, policies, budgets, and programmes that are inclusive of all children; to promote the rights of all marginalised children and champion gender equality, and to support children’s participation and uphold their rights to freedom of expression and opinion.

Youth participants meeting UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore at the event.


Alexandra, 20, who grew up in SOS Children’s Village Cuenca in Spain, spoke at the UN event about the importance of youth participation. “SOS Children’s Villages taught me that my voice is important and that I should be listened to and take part in all decisions which affect my life,” she said. “The commitment to advocate for the rights of other children like me brought me to the United Nations to speak on behalf of all children whose rights have been violated,”

'Joining Forces’ is a collaboration between the six leading NGOs working with and for children under the age of 18 (ChildFund Alliance, Plan International, Save the Children International, SOS Children’s Villages International, Terre des Hommes International Federation, and World Vision International). Joining Forces currently focuses on two work streams: Child Rights Now! of which this report is a part, and Ending Violence Against Children.

To read the press release, click here

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