UN forum spotlights situation of children in 11 countries

The Geneva-based Committee of the Rights of the Child monitors the implementation by States of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – the most widely ratified international human rights instrument, with 193 States parties. Composed of 18 independent human rights experts, the Committee also monitors implementation of two optional protocols to the Convention: one on the involvement of children in armed conflict, and the other on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.During its just-concluded three-week session, the Committee examined the situation of children in Slovakia, Maldives, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, the Sudan, Guatemala, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Monaco, Norway and Sweden, based on national reports submitted to it.In a set of conclusions issued today, experts expressed concern over several issues, including continued abductions of children for forced recruitment, forced labour and sexual exploitation in several countries, and especially in Darfur and South Sudan.Among the other issues of concern to the Committee were high levels of violence against children, discrimination against children born out of wedlock and the plight of refugee children.The Committee, which holds three sessions per year, will meet again in September to examine the situation of children in Sierra Leone, Venezuela, Bulgaria, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Qatar and Syria. 8 June 2007A United Nations expert body today urged 11 countries to take steps to improve the situation of children and young people, noting continued discrimination and violation of their rights.

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