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20 Nov 2014 by Ludwig Boltzmann

25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

20 November marks the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which grants fundamental political, social, economic, cultural and civic rights to children. On this occasion the BIM is putting a special emphasis on the topic of children’s rights including information and materials for teachers and disseminators such as the latest issue of the periodical polis aktuell Children’s Rights are Human Rights, the Encyclopedia on Politics for Young People and an online-module for teachers.

The BIM also took part in a debate in the Austrian Parliament on 10 November on how to secure children’s rights – with young people taking part in the discussion and expressing their needs and demands to the politicians. Other possibilities for children and youth to participate in decisions that affect them are the survey Children’s Rights Barometer, initiated by the Austrian National Coalition on Children’s Rights, as well as the school project Children’s Rights and Participation focusing on a school in compliance with human rights principles.

The BIM is engaging in various projects aiming at defending and implementing children’s rights, such as Countering new forms of Roma children trafficking – participatory approach, Strengthening Child Protection in International Development Cooperations or Children and young people across Europe call for an end to violence in custody.

Amidst all celebrations around the anniversary of the convention, one should not lose sight of the fact that there are still things left to be changed in order to secure children’s rights in Austria. The BIM is demanding the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure establishing a complaints mechanism for violations of children’s rights, the evaluation of the Bundesverfassungsgesetz über die Rechte von Kindern (BVG Kinderrechte) that was passed in 2011, strengthening the Kinder- und Jugendhilfe as the biggest public children’s rights organization as well as putting an emphasis on a participatory approach in research concerning children and young people.