Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Report of the UN Secretary-General (doc. A/67/225), August 2012

UN HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK: On 17 October 2012, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly was presented with the Secretary-General’s report on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This report has a thematic focus on the rights of indigenous children. Among other issues, the report notes that the implementation of the right to education is of crucial importance to indigenous children, being an essential means of their achieving individual empowerment and self-determination, as well as of enjoying, maintaining and respecting indigenous cultures, languages, traditions and traditional knowledge. Research has shown that children attain better results in education if they receive instruction in their mother tongue. The importance and complementarity of traditional education and formal education is highlighted, as traditional education is a lifelong pedagogic process encompassing an intergenerational transfer of knowledge aimed at maintaining a flourishing and harmonious society or community. The report further notes that the right to health is to be understood within the context of indigenous peoples’ concept of health, “which extends beyond the physical and mental well-being of an individual to the spiritual balance and well-being of the community as a whole”. In order to improve the health situation of indigenous peoples, it is essential that a “fundamental shift” take place “in the concept of health so that it incorporates the cultures and world views of indigenous peoples as central to the design and management of State health systems”. Download the report [pdf] …