July 17, 2009 15:22 ET

World-Renowned Composer Steve Barakatt Creates Anthem to Mark 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 17, 2009) - World-renowned composer and UNICEF Canada Ambassador Steve Barakatt has composed an anthem dedicated to the world's children and to UNICEF in honour of the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Barakatt plans to launch the anthem worldwide on November 20, 2009, the International Day of the Child.

"I hope this anthem will help in focusing world attention on this important milestone for the Convention on the Rights of the Child," said Steve Barakatt. "It will also remind us of the journey still ahead, to ensure that the rights and well-being of every child, without exception, are realized."

Quebec-native Barakatt is an accomplished composer, producer and pianist, selling over 3 million albums worldwide and performing over 500 concerts in 15 countries. Steve and his wife Elena Grosheva, an Olympic silver medalist, were both appointed UNICEF Canada Ambassadors in 2007.

"Steve Barakatt is creating an anthem that I hope will engage and excite people around the world as we approach the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," said Nigel Fisher, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. "This is an opportunity to reflect on the children who inspired this music, but it is also a call to action - no child deserves to be left behind."

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and renowned singer Harry Belafonte has endorsed the anthem. A recording and music video, featuring many famous musicians and ensembles, are being produced for worldwide distribution. The anthem will be presented at events that UNICEF and partners around the world are organizing for November 20, 2009.

About the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is a legally binding international agreement that establishes the full range of human rights for children - civil, cultural, economic, political and social. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention addressing their vulnerability, status and rights to the fullest respect and dignity as human beings. Since its adoption by the United Nations, the treaty has been ratified by almost every country in the world. It has inspired changes in laws to better protect children, altered the way that international organizations regard their work for children, and supported efforts to better protect children in situations of armed conflict. Canada ratified the Convention in 1991.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

Contact Information

  • UNICEF Canada
    Christopher Tidey
    Media Relations Officer
    416 482-4444 ext. 8831