The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989. It was the first binding agreement at the national and international levels on the fulfilment of the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of children and adolescents. All the Latin American and Caribbean countries have ratified the Convention, thereby undertaking a commitment to ensure, protect and promote these rights and create
conditions in which children and adolescents can enforce them.
Almost 30 years after the signature of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) offer this document summarizing salient features of the context in which the Convention has been applied in the region. It also presents indicators that reflect progress and outstanding debts in Latin America and the Caribbean for a selection of rights: the rights to education, health, nutrition, housing, life, healthy development from the early years, a life free of violence, protection from exploitation and child labour, a decent standard of living, social security, an identity, and adolescent participation and well-being.
The challenges the region faces in relation to fulfilling the rights of all children and adolescents spring from the aspiration to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and, by 2030, to be able to justly affirm that steady progress has been made towards the aim of leaving no one behind.