Nations from around the world and child welfare advocates from many countries are supporting international treaties and initiatives designed to increase protections for child workers.

Islamist Suicide Bombing Kills Somali Star International–Soccer Used as Tool to Prevent Child Soldiers


[from BleacherReports.com]

By James M. Dorsey/(Correspondent) on February 23, 2011

Soccer star killed in Islamist suicide bombing in war-torn Somalia
USAF/Getty Images

An Islamist suicide bombing that killed a star international on war-torn Somalia’s U-20 soccer team and wounded two other players constitutes a setback for the squad as well as efforts by the country’s football federation to lure child soldiers with the prospect of a soccer career away from the Islamist militia.

The attack is likely to figure prominently when FIFA President Sepp Blatter meets Somali Football Federation (SFF) president Said Mahmoud Nur on Thursday at a Confederation of African Football (CAF) gathering in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. FIFA supports the SFF campaign that has succeeded in turning hundreds of Somali youngsters recruited by the militia into soccer players.

The three players were targeted by the suicide bomber when they walked home earlier this week from training in a heavily fortified police academy in Hamar Jajab District, an area of several blocks in the bullet-scarred Somali capital of Mogadishu controlled by the US-backed Transitional Federal Government (TFG) rather than the Islamist insurgents of Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda affiliate.

Under-20 international Abdi Salaan Mohamed Ali was among 11 people killed when the suicide attacker rammed his van packed with explosives into a police checkpoint. Players Mahmoud Amin Mohamed and Siid Ali Mohamed Xiis were two of the 40 people injured. Abdi Salaan was widely viewed as one of Somalia’s best young players.

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Nigeria: Millions Lack Schooling

`Nigeria has the highest number of children out of school’
By Ayo Okulaja [article from Next.com]

[Originally published September 22, 2010 01:43PM

In ranking Nigeria amongst the worst place for a child to be in 2010, a report by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) has stated that Nigeria has more children out of education than any other country in the world.
The report claims that an astounding 8.2 million children are not provided with adequate education in Africa’s most populous country. Comparing the nation’s wealth with the apparent low standard of education, the report claims that “the report is made all the more appalling by the fact that Nigeria is far from poor, by African standards. On paper at least it is among the continent’s richest countries, the world’s sixth largest producer of crude oil. But decades of failure to invest in education have left the basic school system hardly functioning, especially in the country’s impoverished north.”
For Primary education, the report claims many students drop out of the school in their first year of education due to `unequal provision of education’ and this it argued, is caused by the lack of political will to address and arrest the issue. “A lack of political will is a major factor in the country having the highest number of children out of school in the world. Gross inequality in the provision of education has led to 8.2 million children out of primary school with many more dropping out within the first year.”
Poor attendance, imbalanced education
The report particularly criticised the northern region of the country for an abysmal amount of children denied good education. “Over half of these children are in the north of the country, with girls suffering the most with many receiving just six months of education in their lives. In the largely Muslim north of Nigeria……….attendance rates are below 50% at primary school and of those only one in every three pupils is female (nationwide, the proportion is five boys to four girls)” it noted.

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Convention of the Rights of the Child (Full Text)

Full text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. It entered into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49.

Status of ratifications

Preamble

The States Parties to the present Convention,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,

Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,

Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,

Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”,

Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules); and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict,

Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions and that such children need special consideration,

Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child,

Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing countries,

Have agreed as follows:

Part I

Article 1

For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.… Read the rest

Turkey's first lady addresses PACE session

The fact that the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the UN General Assembly two decades ago is the most widely accepted human rights
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