Universal Children's Day, a necessary commitment to the future
A very vulnerable sector of the world population, children, the future of humanity, has rights beyond the simple guardianship of adults, a reality for which the UN celebrates Universal Children's Day on November 20.
Health, education and protection are basic principles for the newest generation to grow up and develop in adequate conditions, regardless of where in the world they were born, has underlined the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) when commenting on the annual commemoration.
On November 20, 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted, with the precedent recommendation of the UN General Assembly in 1954 to dedicate a day to the promotion of the well-being of children and the approval in 1959 of a Statement on this important matter.
The Convention, the most ratified international treaty in history, contains 54 articles on the economic, social, civil, cultural and political rights of all children and adolescents, including that of having their opinions heard, as well as their duties and those of the adults who interact with them in different areas.
Despite the good intentions of the text and the mandatory nature of its compliance by the 194 States that have ratified it, the overall picture for children is not exactly rosy.
Studies by international entities indicate that 385 million children live in extreme poverty, 264 million have no schools and some five million children under the age of five die from preventable causes.
Following the scourge of COVID-19, which forced social distancing and the suspension of daily routines, in its usual annual report on the State of the World's Children in 2021, Unicef emphasized on the mental health of a generation of children and girls, and adolescents.
However, it cautions that the pandemic may be just the tip of the iceberg that has been overlooked for too long, and indicates that 13 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 19 have a diagnosed mental disorder.
On January 26, 1990, Cuba signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the postulates of which are included in the Constitution of the Republic in articles that establish the duties of the family and the State with respect to the new generation, which are reflected in an infant mortality of 4.9 per thousand live births and the incorporation of 99 percent of children under six years of age to the education system, among other aspects.