The Convention on the Rights of the Child
Author: Abhay Singh, Faculty of Law, Lucknow University
The convention on the Rights of the Child sets out for those rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential. The UNCRC consists of 54 articles that consist of children’s rights and the process of working. The government is required to meet children’s basic needs and helps them in their full development. The United Nations General Assembly established the International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF to work seriously for the betterment of the children throughout the world. With the help of UNICEF the UN General Assembly adopted, “The Convention on the Rights of the Child” which recognizes the role of children as social, economic, political, civil and cultural actors. The convention also guarantees and sets the minimum standards for protecting the rights of children in all capacities.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”
Earlier in the twentieth century, there was hardly any standards for the protection for the children in the industrialized countries. They used to work alongside the adults in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. This injustice led to a movement to protect their rights. As per now the International standards on child rights have advanced dramatically over the past century.
Child rights and why the matters
The convention on the Rights of the Child sets out the rights that must be realized for children to develop their full potential because there are many reasons for singling out in a separate human rights Convention:
●Children are individuals;
●Children start life as totally dependent beings;
●The government policies affect children in a much higher degree than any other group in society;
●Children view should be considered in the political process as they don’t have the right to vote;
●For the future well-being of society, the social development of children is must;
●Transformation and evolution of the society as a whole brings a disproportion and negative impact on children;
What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)?
It is a legally binding international agreement which sets out the civil, political, economical, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.
The UNCRC consists of 54 articles that consists of children’s rights and the process of working which government should follow to make them available to all children.
Under the terms and conditions of the conventions government are required to meet children’s basic needs and helps them in their full development. Every child has basic fundamental rights which includes:
●Life, survival and development;
●Protection from violence, abuse and neglect;
●Education for fulfilling their potential;
●Express their views, opinions and be listened;
● raised by or have a relationship with their parents;
Timeline of the Child Rights
In this year The League of Nation Adopts the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child, drafted by Eglantyne Jebb, founder of the Save the Child Fund. The Declaration conveys that children should get right to:
●Means for their development;
●Special help in the time of need;
● for relief;
● freedom and protection from exploitation;
●An upbringing that nurtures them for social consciousness and duty.
To work seriously for the betterment of the children throughout the world, The United Nations General Assembly established the International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF.
In 1948,The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which Article 25 entitles mother and children to ‘special care and assistance’ and ‘social protection’ passed by The United Nation General Assembly.
The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which recognizes children’s rights to education, play, a helpful environment and health care.
In 1966 the UN member states promise to uphold equal rights including education and protection for all children by the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The International Conference on Human Rights is held to evaluate the progress made by the countries in the past year’s. A plan for future work is also drafted to uphold human rights.
The International Labour Organisation adopts Convention 138, sets 18 as the minimum age for undertaking work.
For the prohibition of attacks against or imprisonment of civilian women and children, and upholding the sanctity of the rights of women and children during armed conflict the General Assembly calls on member states to observe the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict.
On the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the United Nation General Assembly declares 1979 as the International Year of the Child.
For the promotion of the best interests of the child, including education and social services and proportional treatment for child detainees the UN standards minimum rules for the administration of Juvenile Justice.
With the help of UNICEF the UN General Assembly adopted The Convention on the Rights of the Child for recognizing the role of children as social, economic, political, civil and cultural actors. The convention also guarantees and sets the minimum standards for protecting the rights of children in all capacities.
1990, 1991, 1999
In 1990, the strategies for preventing criminality and protecting young people at high risk was outlined in The Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency at The World Summit for Children in New York. In 1991 the meeting took place among the experts from UNICEF to discuss the data gathered from the reporting process of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The meeting further leads to the formal establishment of the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) in 1995.In 1999 ILO called immediate prohibition and elimination of any form of work that is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children by adopting the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention.
2000, 2002, 2006
To take key actions to prevent children from partaking in hostilities during armed conflicts and to end the sale, sexual exploitation and abuse of children the UN General Assembly obligates States by adopting two Optional Protocols to the 1989 Conventions on the Rights of the Child. For the first time in 2002 child delegates address the General Assembly and The World Fit for Children agenda was adopted. In 2006 UNICEF co-publishes the Manual for the Measurement of Juvenile Justice Indicators to assess the condition of their juvenile justice systems and make reforms as necessary.
The United Nation Secretary-General issues the Status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Somalia and South Sudan ratify the Convention. The convention is the most widely ratified International instrument with 196 States except the USA.