Global Human Rights Protection series: children

To guarantee the human rights of children is to invest in the future. Children’s rights are the building blocks for a solid human rights culture, the basis for securing human rights for future generations. As human beings, children are entitled to all the rights guaranteed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and the various covenants that have developed from it. But children also need special protection and care. They must be able to depend on the adult world to take care of them, to defend their rights and to help them to develop and realize their potential. Governments pay almost universal lip service to this ideal, yet have signally failed to ensure that the rights of children are respected. The international community has long recognized the need to protect children from such abuses. The 1959 UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child set out ten principles which provided a powerful moral framework for children’s rights, but which were not legally enforceable. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC) was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, and entered into force the following year. Since then, the CRC has been ratified by every single UN member state in the world, except Somalia -- which has had no central government able to do so for many years -- and the United States of America (USA).
This publication was created with the aim of creating a reference point in the global protection of children through human rights legislation. It contains a collection of all main international and regional legal instruments pertaining to the human rights specifically aimed at children. Binding as well as non-binding instruments falling within the fields of public as well as private international law are included.