HRC 55: SRI Statement to the Annual meeting on the rights of the child

Published on March 14, 2024

Annual meeting on the rights of the child

Theme 1: Rights of the child and inclusive social protection


Thank you Chair,

We make this Statement on behalf of the Sexual Rights Initiative.

Children’s rights to social protection and security are guaranteed under international human rights law, global agreements and national policies, yet the current reality reveals a considerable gap in its realization.

Over 1 billion children live in multidimensional poverty and almost half a billion live in conflict zones.  This is not simply a tragedy of epic proportions, this is a direct result of policy choices at every level including the deeply inequitable international financial system which effectively prevents Global South countries from delivering social protection. Moreover, children’s agency, and children’s rights to health, education, housing, and an adequate standard of living are actively being undermined by State and non-State actors through manufactured moral panics related to gender and sexuality. This is currently the case in Canada where child poverty is increasing for the first time in many years. Yet, regressive politicians are targeting trans youth and comprehensive sexuality education as among the country’s biggest challenges.

These policy choices are rooted in colonial, capitalist, racist and patriarchal systems, which is crystal clear when we acknowledge the sheer scale of destruction in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We cannot continue talking about the universality of human rights and social protection while selectively restricting access to protection for specific groups of children.

In order for social protection for children to be universal and comply with children’s rights, we must hold States accountable for their obligations not only within their borders but also globally.

Thank you.