Statement by High Representative Catherine Ashton on the 10th anniversary of the Optional Protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made the following statement:
“While marking the 10th anniversary of the Optional Protocols to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, I would like to highlight the utmost importance of these legally binding international instruments that affirm human rights for all children. The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and its two Optional Protocols form the core of the EU’s external action on the rights of the child. The Lisbon Treaty further reinforces our commitment by including specific provisions on children. We will continue to translate our commitments into concrete actions, particularly through the implementation of the EU human rights guidelines on the rights of the child and on children affected by armed conflict, as well as the European Commission Communication “A Special Place for Children in EU External Action”. We will continue to systematically bring up children’s rights issues with our partner countries and within the United Nations, to seek to respond to children’s rights and needs in our development cooperation and to cooperate with civil society.
I would like to reiterate the EU’s full support to the work of the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict and the UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. I would also like to seize this occasion to call on partner countries to ratify the two Optional Protocols, if they have not yet done so, so we can all join our efforts to successfully respond to the challenge of protecting all children worldwide and with no exception.”
Council of the European Union