New report reveals millions of children being denied basic rights: NGOs call for second revolution on children’s rights

Released today, a new report has found that 30 years after the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, millions of children across the world lack the rights and protections they need to survive and thrive.

ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence said: “While the UNCRC contributed to historically unprecedented gains that have transformed children’s lives, this report reveals that the promises of the Convention still remain unfulfilled for millions of children around the world.

The report, A Second Revolution, report found that:

  • Education: 64 million children still lack access to primary education; over 60% of primary school children in developing countries fail to meet minimum proficiency in learning; girls are more likely than boys never to enrol at school.
  • Violence & exploitation of children: 152 million children are working, and half of these are engaged in as hazardous work; at least 1 in 3 women experience gender-based violence, often starting in early childhood.
  • Health: over 5m children die annually from preventable causes; nearly half are attributable to undernutrition.

Mr Spence said: “The data shows that many countries are falling short on spending the 5-6% of GDP that is widely agreed to be necessary to ensure universal coverage of essential healthcare.

“This is leading to unacceptable and tragic outcomes for millions of children and their families.”

He added: “Children’s rights today are facing new and rapidly evolving challenges: worsening conflict, growing inequality, the negative consequences of migration, and the misuse of technology to harm children.

“Conventional programming to prevent and respond to violence against children is not having the scale of impact that children urgently need.

“This report confirms that what we need now is a second revolution, in which the rights of every child – whoever they are, and wherever they live – are fulfilled.”

The report has been released by the Joining Forces Alliance, a collaboration of the six largest international NGOs working with and for children under the age of 18 to secure their rights and end violence against them.

These organisations include ChildFund Alliance, PLAN International, World Vision, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages International, and Terre des Hommes International Foundation.

Click here to view the report:


Marking 200 days to go until Rugby World Cup 2019, World Rugby and ChildFund, the principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup, have confirmed that a record AU$3 million has been pledged to ChildFund Pass It Back, strongly showcasing rugby’s values.

In an incredible show of solidarity and generosity of the global rugby family, as well as Rugby World Cup 2019’s worldwide commercial partners, the pledged donations will support ChildFund Pass It Back, an innovative sport for development program led by ChildFund in partnership with World Rugby and Asia Rugby that delivers an integrated life skills and rugby curriculum for children and young people in disadvantaged communities across Asia.

Pledged funds will enable more than 25,000 children and young people from disadvantaged communities across Asia to take part in and benefit from the programme. With a focus on gender inclusion, approximately half of all players and coaches to-date are female. The programme’s objectives are to equip children and young people in Asia to overcome challenges, inspire positive social change and ‘pass it back’ to their communities.

World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Today marks 200 days until Rugby World Cup 2019, and we are thrilled to see this powerful demonstration of the spirit and values of rugby among fans throughout the world, which reaffirms our belief that Japan 2019 will be the most impactful Rugby World Cup.

“ChildFund Pass It Back is transforming the lives of children living in some of Asia’s most vulnerable communities, and the rugby community can be proud of its role in helping to foster a new generation of players in the world’s most populous and youthful continent.”

The pledged donations, which are a record for a Rugby World Cup, will also assist with emergency relief efforts in disaster-affected areas in Japan.

Gosper added: “Through our wider Impact Beyond programme, we will leave a positive lasting legacy in Japan, including providing support via ChildFund to lessen the worst impacts of any natural disasters faced by children and their communities in the years to come.”

ChildFund CEO Nigel Spence said: “At ChildFund, we believe that every child, regardless of their birthplace, has the right to play, learn and grow, which is why ChildFund Pass it Back was originally established for children in developing communities who face significant challenges around poverty and inequality.

“Sport has the incredible power to unite people and communities, As World Rugby’s principal charity partner for Rugby World Cup 2019, we are delighted to witness the generosity of the rugby family, and to know that our programme can benefit even more vulnerable children in Asia.

The funds pledged through Rugby World Cup 2019 will enable more than 25,000 children from countries in Asia, including Japan, the opportunity to benefit from their participation in ChildFund Pass It Back.

This innovative rugby and life skills programme builds resilience and includes learning on leadership, problem-solving, gender equity, conflict-resolution and planning for the future.

Gosper added: “We believe Rugby World Cup 2019 will be the most impactful ever in terms of the long-term legacy it will leave in Japan and the wider Asia region.”

For more information on the ChildFund Pass it Back programme, visit