Children being treated by Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets after chemical attack. Photo courtesy of Associated Press.
WARNING: Graphic Images
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international agreement which lays out the social, economic, cultural, civil, and political rights of children everywhere. Since its adoption in 1989, the Convention has been signed by 194 countries. But its interpretation and adherence vary widely across the globe.
Under the Convention, every child – boy or girl – has the right to life and survival; to protection against violence, abuse, and neglect; and to an education.
Right to Life
“For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb” (Ps. 139: 13).
The American Convention on Human Rights declares human life as beginning at conception. Abortion is, however, legal for some 60% of the world’s population.
The United States has performed over 45 million abortions since 1970 .
China performs approximately 23 million abortions annually . Although pre-natal sex determination is now illegal there, it is thought that sex-selective abortions (heavily weighted against females) are a key factor in China’s widely disproportionate number of men.
Right to Survival
“Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha, cumi,’ which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age” (Mark 5: 41-42).
Over one third of child deaths worldwide are related to malnutrition . Another 2 million children or more die annually of readily preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia.
Protection against Violence
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Execute judgment and righteousness, and deliver the plundered out of the hand of the oppressor. Do no wrong and do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, or the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place’ “ (Jer. 22: 3).
During the 10 year period from 1986 – 1996, it is estimated that 2 million children were killed; 4-5 million disabled; and 12 million left homeless by war and conflict . As recently as April of this year, Pres. Bashar al-Assad of Syria again killed dozens of his own men, women, and children in a chemical attack .
As many as 300,000 youngsters worldwide have been compelled by government or rebel forces to become child soldiers .
In the United States, 2710 children were killed by guns between 2014 – 2017 . This ranged from gang violence to school shootings [8A]. Nearly 6000 children are treated for non-fatal gunshot wounds in this country, annually [8B].