The United Nations stance with regard to the Child
Since 1946 the United Nations has been concerned about officially recognising the rights of the child
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE CHILD
a). International level.
The United Nations concern for the right of child had began since 1946 when the Temporary Social Commission of the Economic and Social Counsel insisted that the Geneva Declaration of 1924 made under the auspices of the League of Nations should be binding on the peoples of world even after the end of Second World War. The five points that were adopted by the League of Nations is in the form of Geneva Declaration of 1924 are as follows. 1
1. The child must be given the means requisite for its normal Development, both materially and spiritually.
2. The child that is Hungary must be fed; the child that is sick must be helped. The child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphans and the waif must be sheltered and succored.
3. The child must be first to receive relief in times of distress.
4. The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
5. The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights had stipulated under Para 2 of Article-25 that child hood is entitled to special care and assistance. The above principle along with other principles of Universal Declaration concerning the child were incorporated in the declaration of the rights of child adopted by the General Assembly on November 20 1959. The International covenant on civil and political rights under Article 23 and 24 and the International covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights under Article 10 made provisions for the care of the child. In a number of other international documents it was stated that the child show grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, although Principles were proclaimed for the care and development of the child. These principles were not binding on the states. It was therefore realized that a convention is prepared which should be legally binding on states.
The convention on the rights of the child was adopted by the General Assembly by consensus, on the 3oth Anniversary of the Declaration on November 20, 1989, which came into force on Sep 2, 1990. As on January 8, 2002, the convention had 191 states parties, the convention has 54 articles and is every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
b). RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
A number of rights have been stipulated in the convention which includes the following
a) Right to Life (Art 6.Para 1).
b) Right to acquire nationality (Art.7).
c) Right to freedom of thought conscience and religion (Art.14 Para 1).
d) Right to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly (Art 15.Para 1).
e). Right to Privacy (Art.16).
f) Right to family environment (Art.20).
g) Right to education (Art.28 Para 1).
h) Right to benefit form social security (Art.27 Para 1).
i) Right to standard of living and adequate for the child?s physical, mental, spiritual, and social development (Art.27 Para 1).
j) Right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health (Art 24, Para 1).
k) Right to protection of the law against arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, hones, or correspondence (Art.16, Para 1).
l) Right against exploitation of child Labour (Art.32).
m) Right against sexual exploitation (Art.34).
n) Right against abduction, sale, or traffic (Art.35).
o) Right against other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspect of the child?s welfare.
c). OPTIONAL PROTOCOL
On May 25, 2000 .Two Optional Protocols to the convention on the right of the child were adopted in New York which are as follows.
?Optional protocols on the involvement of children in armed conflict. In the armed conflict of recent years, children have featured centrally as targets of violence and occasionally. Even unwillingly, as perpetrators. They have been directly affected by armed conflicts, many of them uprooted from their homes and communities, maimed or killed. In order to prevent children from being targets in armed conflicts, a protocol was concluded whose objective is to seek limits on the issue of children in armed conflict and in particular to raise the minimum age limit for the recruitment and to limit the actual participation of the persons under 18 years in hostilities.?
d). WORLD SUMMIT FOR CHILDREN 1990
The world summit for children was held on Sep 29 and 30, 1990. In New York to bring attention and promote commitment at the highest political level, to goals and strategies for ensuring the survival, protection and development of children as key elements in the socio-economic development of all countries and human society. The summit adopted the world declaration on the survival, protection and development of children and the plan of action for implementing the world declaration.
While the declaration is a moral and joint commitment the plan of action is a practical guide for national governments. International and Non-governmental organizations to ensure the implementation of declarations specific principles. The action plan sets specific goal for children and development in the Neut-decate (1990-2000). Some of the goals are as follows.
a) Reduction of Maternal Mortality Rate by one-third or 70 per 1000 live births, whichever is less.
b) Reduction of Maternal Mortality Rate by half.
c) Reduction of severe and moderate malnutrition among under five children by half.
d) Universal access to safe drinking water and to sanitary means of excrete disposal.
e) Universal access to basic education and completion of primary education by at least 80 percent of the primary school age children.
f) Improved protection of children in especially difficult circumstances.
Since the historic world summit the world has achieved by the year. 2000 significant progress in meeting goals for helping children.
e). SPECIAL SESSION ON CHILDREN
The General assembly for the first time decided to hold a special session on issue relating to children from September 19 to 21.2001. In New York. The conference was to make review of progress made since world summit for children where governments committed to specific and time bound goals on child survival, protection and development. However, the conference was postponed due to terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
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