Hundreds of millions of children go hungry

 

Sir, – The 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20th, is a time to acknowledge unprecedented progress in reducing childhood deaths, expanded access to schooling and clean water in almost all corners of the globe.

It is also the opportunity to take stock of the unfinished agenda for children. Hundreds of millions of children still go hungry, or live in fear of violence or cannot even go to school – due to poverty, conflicts and disasters or discrimination based on their origins, gender and abilities. Some 262 million children are out of school and we see progress has come to a standstill.

At a time when we need to redouble efforts, fewer than half of all countries have so far renewed their commitment to the full implementation of the convention. Almost none of the countries with the highest rates of child poverty have made any commitments.

It is deeply disappointing that the lives of millions of vulnerable children are at risk because the majority of the world’s nations have failed to renew their commitment to their children’s rights.

There is still a long way to go before children everywhere can realise their rights to a childhood spent enjoying a good quality education, without hunger, suffering and violence.

All governments need to work with renewed vigour and urgency or we will not achieve the pledge of the UN General Assembly in 2015 that no one will be left behind. – Yours, etc,

PAUL O’BRIEN,

Chief Executive Officer,

Plan International Ireland,

Dublin 8.