UN Urges Help For 1 Billion Deprived Children

"UNITED NATIONS — UNICEF urged the world to help the 1 billion children still deprived of food, shelter, clean water or health care — and the hundreds of millions more threatened by violence — two decades after the U.N. adopted a treaty guaranteeing childrens rights. On the eve of the anniversary, the U.N. childrens agency issued a report Thursday on the challenges ahead and the accomplishments since the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman called a sharp decline in child deaths a ""remarkable achievement,"" and lauded the increasing number of children attending primary school. More than 70 countries have used the treaty to incorporate childrens rights in their national laws, she said, noting a new focus on safeguarding youngsters ""from violence, abuse, discrimination and exploitation."" Only two nations, the United States and Somalia, have not ratified it. Still, much remains to be done. Veneman