The United Nations has hailed South Sudan’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) as the African nation takes a critical step towards protecting and promoting the rights of all children.

“We applaud South Sudan for ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child,” declared the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in a press release issued earlier today.

“We urge States that have ratified the Convention, now including South Sudan, to fulfil their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all children. Ratification is an important step that brings with it a commitment towards implementation.”

The child right’s treaty was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and has been ratified by 195 countries, including South Sudan, making it the most widely ratified international human rights treaty in history. Somalia recently began the process of ratifying the Convention – a process which will be formalized once the Government deposits the instruments of ratification with the UN in New York.

This means that as of today, the United States is the only country that has yet to ratify the landmark treaty.

In its press release, the Committee also repeated its call for universal ratification of the Convention and reminded States to ratify its three Optional Protocols that address specific areas of children’s rights, namely the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; the involvement of children in armed conflict; and enabling children to bring complaints of serious violations of their rights to the Committee.

At the same time, the Committee also welcomed South Sudan’s recent ratification of two other human rights conventions – the Convention against Torture (CAT) and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women – and their optional protocols.

Article originally published on UN News Centre