MEDIA ADVISORY on Celebrating 25 Years of Convention of Child Rights 20th Nov.


10 November 2014


On the 20th November, the world will celebrate 25 years of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Child.

In China, we will celebrate with a social media campaign that seeks to engage young people learning more about the Convention and contribute their hopes for children in the world and what rights they see as most important.

We encourage everyone to get involved and use this week to celebrate children and their rights.


The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most rapidly and widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. The Convention changed the way children are viewed and treated – i.e., as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity.

Since then, millions of children have benefited from progress. When governments, their international partners, businesses and communities have matched their obligations under the Convention with money and energy, they have saved and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of children.

The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the CRC serves as a landmark for several improvements, from declining infant mortality to rising school enrolment, but this historic milestone must also serve as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full rights on par with their peers.

While the magnitude of progress has been profound in key areas – child survival, education, and access to clean water – too many children still confront the future with their needs unaddressed, their rights unrealized and their potential thwarted.

The world's low-income countries remain home to concentrations of poverty and disadvantage, but most impoverished children now live in middle-income countries – countries plagued with the greatest income inequalities. Here, as elsewhere, deprivation is disproportionately concentrated in urban slums and remote rural areas and among such marginalized groups as ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. 


  • About 90 million children who would have died if mortality rates had stuck at their 1990 level have, instead, lived past the age of 5. 
  • Deaths from measles among children under 5 years of age fell from 482,000 in 2000 to 86,000 in 2012, thanks in large part to immunization coverage, which increased from 16 per cent in 1980 to 84 per cent in 2012.
  • Primary school enrolment has increased, even in the least developed countries: Whereas in 1990 only 53 per cent of children in those countries gained school admission, by 2011 the rate had improved to 81 per cent.
  • Nearly 1.9 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990.
  • Between approximately 2000 and 2010, global birth registration levels rose from 58 per cent to 65 per cent. 
  • The number of polio cases worldwide has decreased by more than 99 per cent, from 350,000 in 1988 to just over 400 cases in 2013. 
  • lobally, enrolment in early childhood education increased from 33 per cent in 1999 to 50 per cent in 2011. 
  • Globally, there were an estimated 289,000 maternal deaths in 2013, a decline of 45 per cent from 1990.
  • Infections in children aged 0-14 have been reduced by more than half since 2001.   
  • The percentage of children who are underweight has declined from 25 per cent in 1990 to 16 per cent in 2012 – a 37 per cent reduction. 
  • Annual measles deaths reached historic lows, dropping 78% from 2000 to 2012. During this time period, an estimated 13.8 million deaths have been prevented by measles vaccination.
  • Globally, the proportion of people practicing open defecation is slowly declining – from 24 per cent in 1990 to 14 per cent in 2012. 
  • Deaths from diarrhoea – one of the leading killers of children under five – dropped by more than 50 per cent in the last decade, from almost 1.3 million in 2000 to about 0.6 million in 2012. 

Media contacts

Liu Li
Communication Specialist
Tel: +86-10-85312612


UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit              

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