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Annual Discussion on Rights of the Child
Statement by the United States at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council
March 10, 2023

Annual Discussion on Rights of the Child

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Ms. Branka Bell

Human Rights Council – 52nd Session

Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Around the world, children are facing a multitude of challenges.

Over 149 million children, or nearly one in five, are chronically malnourished, and undernutrition is linked to nearly half of all deaths of children under five. In countries like Yemen and Afghanistan, these numbers are on the rise due to conflicts and climate crises contributing to growing food insecurity. According to UNICEF, “All around the world, the nearly 240 million children living with disabilities – 1 in 10 children worldwide – are being denied basic rights.” Many face deprivation in areas such as health, education, and protection.

Around the world, tens of thousands of children recruited by armed forces or armed groups suffer exploitation and abuse, and many are subjected to gender based violence.

Over 600 million children worldwide are unable to attain minimum proficiency levels in reading and math. In Afghanistan, girls are barred from attending secondary school and face unacceptable restrictions on their freedom of movement.

Around the world, one in five girls are married as children, and no region is on track to reach the SDG of eliminating this practice by 2030.

Across the globe, LGBTQI+ children are subjected to so-called conversion “therapy” practices and are at greater risk for homelessness, suicide, gender-based violence, abuse, and substance use. Transgender youth often struggle to obtain gender affirming care, and intersex children are sometimes subjected to medically unnecessary genital surgeries.

Let us work together to leave our children with a world we would all be proud of. There is no time to waste.

I thank you.