Highlights of UN Convention on Rights of Child
The UN Convention on Rights of Child 1989 is result of some founding principles of UN such as live with dignity or equal rights for all human beings. Also as per UN declaration of human rights include that everyone is entitled to all fundamental rights and freedom without any discrimination. So take care of all fundamentals, UN has proclaimed that childhood requires special care and attention for growth or development which are the basis of this Convention on Rights of Child. Till now, 192 countries has ratified the UN Convention on Rights of Child.
Guiding Principles (Article 1-12)
- For purpose of this convention, every human being below age of 18 yrs shall be considered as child.
- State Parties shall ensure that there shall be no discrimination on basis of sex, religion, language, race, political, national origin or any other status with the rights of every child set in present convention.
- While taking care of a child, the Best Interests of child shall be the primary concern for all such as parents, public/social welfare institutions, court of law, legislative bodies or administrative bodies etc.
- The State shall take appropriate Legislative, Administrative or other measures to provide and protect rights of each child under this convention such as min standard of education or health system etc.
- The Govt shall respect responsibilities of parents or guardians towards their children so that child can learn about his/her rights recognized in this convention.
- The state parties shall ensure that every child has the inherent right to life. Also govt has responsibility of survival and development of child to maximum extent possible as per available resources.
- Every child has right to register name and acquire a nationality officially recognized by govt. Also has right to preserve identity including name, nationality and family relations without any law interference.
- No child shall be separated from his/her parents unless it is in best interest of child.
- The State parties shall take appropriate steps for Family reunification in speedy, positive manner (such as moving around countries etc.) if looking possible or desire by any of family member.
- The state parties shall take measures to stop illegal transfer of children outside the country.
- The views of child shall be taken into account (in due weight as per age & maturity of child) in all decisions of parents/guardian that affecting child. The child shall be given sufficient opportunity to be heard in all judicial proceedings that affecting child.
Fundamental Rights (Article 13-17)
- Every child has right to –
- Freedom of Expression including freedom to receive or share information of all kinds in any form such as writing, orally etc.
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- Freedom of association or peaceful assembly.
- Privacy and Protection of Law from all unlawful interference or attacks.
Provided that state can impose restrictions on above rights for purpose of national security, public order etc. as per national law.
Survival and Development (Article 17-32)
- The state shall take measure to create environment (among parents or guardians) that development or upbringing of child with his/her best interest is the primary concern or responsibility.
- The state shall take all appropriate measures (Legislative, admin etc.) to protect child from physical violence, mental torture or sexual abuse while in care of parent or guardian or any institution etc.
- If any child is away from family environment then state shall try to re-establish it by way of adoption, constitute special institutions for care of deprived children.
- The State shall ensure that all refugee children shall enjoy all rights cover under this convention and in other human rights conventions.
- The State shall recognize special needs of children with disability and provide assistance for special care. Also state shall ensure that they enjoy life with dignity and be self reliant as far as possible.
- The State shall recognize right of standard of living for child development and right of good standard of health services. To do this, state shall take measures to diminish infant mortality, malnutrition etc.
- The children or parents or guardians shall be entitled by state to such help necessary for development if they are poor or not have enough to enjoy rights provide under this convention.
- Every child shall have right to compulsory & free elementary education and state shall provide necessary assistance as far as possible for secondary & higher education if required.
- The children from minorities (linguistic, religious etc.) shall have right to practice or enjoy their own culture, religion or language as case may be.
Protection (Article 33-41)
- The child shall be protected from employment or exploitation or performing any work which affects their health or education or development. The state shall take appropriate measures to determine minimum age for employment, hazardous conditions etc.
- The state parties shall take appropriate national, bilateral or international measures to –
- Protect children from any sexual and drugs abuse.
- Stop trafficking or illegal transfer of child.
- The Govt shall take special legislative or admin measures for all children infringe penal law such as –
- No child shall be placed with adults after detention or conviction;
- Speedy judicial proceedings by a higher or independent body in a fair manner;
- Child to be presumed innocent until proven guilty;
- Prohibition of death penalty or life imprisonment for any convicted child;
- Rehabilitation of child victim in special homes;
Part II (Article 42-45)
- To examine progress of signed state parties to achieve obligations undertaken in this convention, there shall be established a Committee on Rights of Child which shall carry out business of examining.
- The committee shall consist of ten expert members from different state parties and they elected by state parties by secret ballot from list of nomination provided that each state can nominate one person.
- The State parties shall submit report of progress made on enjoyment of child rights and measures taken to satisfy obligations under this convention to committee in every 5 yrs.
- The report shall include difficulties or factors on implementation of convention.
- The Committee may invite specialized agencies (UN Children Fund etc.) for their advice or reports or assistance for effective implementation of convention.