On this Universal Children’s Day, France calls for strengthening the international commitment to protecting children and their rights.
The minister particularly emphasized this issue during his trip to New York on October 30-31, and it was one of the priorities of the French Security Council presidency.
We are committed at every level to universal access to education and to combating violence against children, harmful practices, and maternal and infant mortality.
France is working in particular at the international level to step up the protection of children in armed conflicts. We spearheaded the establishment of a multilateral monitoring and reporting mechanism on the violation of children’s rights, as well as a Security Council working group responsible for tracking these violations. This past February, in partnership with UNICEF, we hosted the “Protecting Children from War” conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Principles and Commitments and reenergize the international commitment to this issue. Now endorsed by 108 states, their aim is to ensure the concrete protection of children and their reintegration into their families or communities, as well as preventing and combating impunity. France calls on all nations that have not yet done so to endorse these principles.
Education is also a crucial factor when it comes to protecting the lives of young and teen girls. It helps reduce early marriages and pregnancies and contributes to the girls’ empowerment. In this regard, France backs the Global Partnership for Education and supports UNICEF’s activities everywhere. Since 2015, it has donated €27 million to UNESCO for its educational activities for refugee children in Lebanon and Jordan. We are also working to end gender violence in schools and to provide young people and teens with information and comprehensive sex education to improve their health and give them a better understanding of the risks to which they are exposed.