How many of you have seen children working or perhaps begging in the streets? Or looking malnourished or unhappy? Growing up in Pakistan, I often witnessed this. It's always sad to see children who are not in school as they should be, or playing with other children and enjoying the outdoors. Childhood should be a carefree period in everyone's life; free of burden and hardship.
In fact, denying children their childhood it is not only tragic, but is a blatant violation of their rights.
20 years ago, the world community adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) - a binding treaty of international law that lays out all the rights that should be guranteed to children everywhere, from the right to clean water and education, to the right to play. It's the world's most ratified treaty, and because of it, more children are being granted their basic rights today.
UNICEF has brought out a special edition of the State of the World's Children report to commemorate the 20th anniversary of this landmark agreement. Also, be sure and watch the very poignant accompanying video about the treaty's importance, and also check out the winning entries of the youth CRC video contest.