(OzyDads) The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Submitted by Editor on Fri, 29/04/2005 - 23:06

- Julian speaks out on the dirty secrets of family destruction

THE UNCRC IS A HODGEPODGE OF 54 Articles, many of which appear to be contradictory and less than necessary.

There is NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that the intention of the use of the UNCRC in western societies is to empower the state to override the parents authority using the "best interests of the child" slogan.

The UNCRC is the forerunner of the current "Child protection" policies being implemented all over.

The question people need to ask, as in the UNCRC is "protected from whom?"

As there is no doubt that children's welfare has always been found with their parents and that the state has an abysmal record of caring for children the answer surely is "protected from the state!"

Yet the UNCRC and the "Child protection" policies are intended to be implemented and policed by the state.

This is surely a case of the fox guarding the henhouse and advocates of both must be told to abruptly get lost.

For those of you who want to read up more I give below the UN's own excuse for the existence of the UNCRC.

Even they can't hide the fact that it was designed with the very worst cases of institutional child abuse in mind and as such should have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER in family law cases which are PRIVATE CASES, ie brought by one parent against the other because there are NO PUBLIC CONCERNS FOR THE WELFARE OF THE CHILD, but simply because the applicant parent seeks to gain control of the child for the financial reliefs that they are awarded.

Roger Eldridge,
eldridgeandco@eircom.net
Chairman. National Men's Council of Ireland,
Knockvicar, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
www.family-men.com
Tel: 00 353 (0) 71-9667138
Email: familymen@eircom.net

Thu, 28 Apr 2005

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

Prior to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, human rights standards applicable to all members of the human family had been expressed in legal instruments such as covenants, conventions and declarations, as did standards relating to the specific concerns of children. But it was only in 1989 that the standards concerning children were brought together in a single legal instrument, approved by the international community and spelling out in an unequivocal manner the rights to which every child is entitled, regardless of where born or to whom, regardless of sex, religion, or social origin. The body of rights enumerated in the Convention are the rights of all children everywhere.

The idea of everywhere is important. In too many countries, children's lives are plagued by armed conflict, child labour, sexual exploitation and other human rights violations. Elsewhere, for example, children living in rural areas may have fewer opportunities to obtain an education of good quality or may have less access to health services than children living in cities. The Convention states that such disparities ­ within societies ­ are also a violation of human rights. In calling on governments to ensure the human rights of all children, the Convention seeks to correct these kinds of inequities.

Some people assume that the rights of children born in wealthy nations ­ where schools, hospitals and juvenile justice systems are in place ­ are never violated, that these children have no need for the protection and care called for in the Convention. But that is far from the truth. To varying degrees, at least some children in all nations face unemployment, homelessness, violence, poverty and other issues that dramatically affect their lives.

Human rights belong to each of us equally

All of us are born with human rights ­ a principle the Convention on the Rights of the Child makes very clear. Human rights are not something a richer person gives to a poorer person; nor are they owned by a select few and given to others as a mere favour or gift. They belong to each and every one of us equally. Children living in developing countries have the same rights as children in wealthy countries. And human rights apply to all age groups ­ they do not magically begin with a child's passage into adulthood, nor do they stop when the mandate of the Convention ceases on the child's reaching the age of 18.

The Convention places equal emphasis on all of the rights for children. There is no such thing as a 'small' right and no hierarchy of human rights. All the rights enumerated in the Convention ­ the civil and political rights as well as the economic, social and cultural rights ­ are indivisible and interrelated, with a focus on the child as a whole.

This indivisibility of rights is key to interpreting the Convention. Decisions with regard to any one right must be made in the light of all the other rights in the Convention. For example, it is not sufficient to ensure that a child receives immunization and health care, only for that child on reaching the age of 14 to be sold into bonded labour or conscripted into an army. It is not enough to guarantee the right to education, only to fail to ensure that all children are enrolled in school and can go to school equally, regardless of gender or economic class.

A new vision

The Convention on the Rights of the Child reflects a new vision of the child. Children are neither the property of their parents nor are they helpless objects of charity. They are human beings and are the subject of their own rights. The Convention offers a vision of the child as an individual and as a member of a family and community, with rights and responsibilities appropriate to his or her age and stage of development. By recognizing children's rights in this way, the Convention firmly sets the focus on the whole child.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child:

Reinforces fundamental human dignity. Because of its near-universal acceptance by the community of nations, the Convention on the Rights of the Child has brought into sharp focus for the first time the fundamental human dignity of all children and the urgency of ensuring their well-being and development. Considered the most powerful legal instrument for the recognition and protection of children's human rights, the Convention draws on the following unique combination of strengths.

Highlights and defends the family's role in children's lives. In the preamble and in article 5, article 10 and article 18, the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifically refers to the family as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of its members, particularly children. Under the Convention, States are obliged to respect parents' primary responsibility for providing care and guidance for their children and to support parents in this regard, providing material assistance and support programmes. States are also obliged to prevent children from being separated from their families unless the separation is judged necessary for the child's best interests.

Seeks respect for children ­ but not at the expense of the human rights or responsibilities of others. The Convention on the Rights of the Child confirms that children have a right to express their views and to have their views taken seriously and given due weight ­ but it does not state that children's views are the only ones to be considered. The Convention also explicitly states that children have a responsibility to respect the rights of others, especially those of parents. The Convention emphasizes the need to respect children's "evolving capacities," but does not give children the right to make decisions for themselves at too young an age. This is rooted in the common-sense concept that the child's path from total dependence to adulthood is gradual.

Endorses the principle of non-discrimination. The principle of non-discrimination is included in all the basic human rights instruments and has been carefully defined by the bodies responsible for monitoring their implementation. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states frequently that States need to identify the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children within their borders and take affirmative action to ensure that the rights of these children are realized and protected.

Establishes clear obligations. Prior to or shortly after ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child, States are required to bring their national legislation into line with its provisions ­ except where the national standards are already higher. In this way, child rights standards are no longer merely an aspiration but, rather, are nationally binding on States. Ratification also makes States publicly and internationally accountable for their actions through the process in which States report on the Convention's implementation. At the centre of the monitoring process is the Committee on the Rights of the Child, an independent, elected committee whose members are of "high moral standing" and are experts in the field of human rights.

A binding national commitment

"The Convention is not only a visionary document. We are reminded daily that it is an agreement that works ­ and its utility can be seen in the everyday use to which I have seen it increasingly being put by country after country, in policy, in practice and in law." ­ Carol Bellamy, UNICEF Executive Director, Statement to the UNICEF Executive Board, September 1998 The Convention on the Rights of the Child was carefully drafted over the course of 10 years (1979-1989) with the input of representatives from all societies, all religions and all cultures. A working group made up of members of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, independent experts and observer delegations of non-member governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies was charged with the drafting. NGOs involved in the drafting represented a range of issues ­ from various legal perspectives to concerns about the protection of the family.

The Convention reflects this global consensus and, in a very short period of time, it has become the most widely accepted human rights treaty ever. It has been ratified by 192 countries; only two countries have not ratified: The United States and Somalia, which have signalled their intention to ratify by formally signing the Convention. .

Like all human rights treaties, the Convention on the Rights of the Child had first to be approved, or adopted, by the United Nations General Assembly. On 20 November 1989, the governments represented at the General Assembly agreed to adopt the Convention into international law.

When a government signed the Convention, it had to widely consult within the country on the standards in the Convention and begin identifying the national laws and practices that needed to be brought into conformity with these standards. Ratification was the next step, which formally bound the government on behalf of all people in the country to meet the obligations and responsibilities outlined in the Convention.

The process: From signature to ratification

* What does it mean for a country to 'sign' the Convention?
* What are 'accession' and 'ratification'?
* What formalities are involved in ratification and accession?
* What precedes ratification or accession?
* Must compliance be assured before a country can ratify or accede to the Convention?
* What is the Convention's significance in countries that have not ratified or acceded to it?

While the Convention is addressed to governments as representatives of the people, it actually addresses the responsibilities of all members of society. Overall, its standards can be realized only when respected by everyone ­ parents and members of the family and the community; professionals and others working in schools, in other public and private institutions, in services for children, in the courts and at all levels of government administration ­ and when each of these individuals carries out his or her unique role and function with respect to these standards.

Guiding principles

The Convention on the Rights of the Child incorporates the full range of human rights ­ civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights ­ of all children. The underlying values ­ or 'guiding principles' ­ of the Convention guide the way each right is fulfilled and respected and serve as a constant reference for the implementation and monitoring of children's rights. The Convention's four guiding principles are as follows:

* Non-discrimination (article 2)
* Best interests of the child (article 3)
* Survival and development (article 6)
* Participation (article 12)

The text of the Convention

The Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines in 41 articles the human rights to be respected and protected for every child under the age of 18 years and requires that these rights are implemented in the light of the Convention's guiding principles.

Articles 42-45 cover the obligation of States Parties to disseminate the Convention's principles and provisions to adults and children; the implementation of the Convention and monitoring of progress towards the realization of child rights through States Parties' obligations; and the reporting responsibilities of States Parties.

The final clauses (articles 46-54) cover the processes of accession and ratification by States Parties; the Convention's entry into force; and the depositary function of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In May 2000 two Optional Protocols to the Convention were adopted by the General Assembly.

Definition of the child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines as children all human beings under the age of 18, unless the relevant national laws recognize an earlier age of majority (article 1). The Convention emphasizes that States substituting an earlier age for specific purposes must do so in the context of the Convention's guiding principles ­ of non-discrimination (article 2), best interests of the child (article 3), maximum survival and development (article 6) and participation of children (article 12). In reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, States Parties must indicate whether national legislation differs from the Convention with regard to the defining ages of childhood.

While in some cases States are simply obliged to be consistent in setting benchmark ages ­ for example, in defining the age for admission to employment or for completion of compulsory education ­ in other cases, the Convention sets a clear upper benchmark:

* Capital punishment or life imprisonment without the possibility of release is explicitly prohibited for those under age 18 (article 37).

* While recruitment into the armed forces or direct participation in hostilities is expressly prohibited for those under age 15 according to article 38 of the Convention, an Optional Protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflict was adopted by the General Assembly on 25 May 2000, which raises to 18 years the age of participation in hostilities and forced recruitment of children into armed forces. The United Nations has also set minimum age requirements for United Nations peacekeepers.

States are also free to refer in national legislation to ages over 18 as the upper benchmark in defining the child. In such instances and others ­ where national or international law sets child rights standards that are higher than those in the Convention on the Rights of the Child ­ the higher standards always prevail. This ensures that situations do not arise where Convention standards undermine any national provisions that are "more conducive to the realization of the rights of the child."

The path to the Convention

"Mankind owes to the child the best that it has to give...."­ 1924 Declaration of the Rights of the Child

The international community progressed slowly ­ and only relatively recently ­ down the path leading to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The first legal step was taken in 1924, when the League of Nations endorsed the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The United Nations Charter (1945) also laid much of the groundwork for the Convention by urging nations to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms 'for all'. Other early signs of a move to recognize and protect children's rights are evident in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. The Universal Declaration states that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights" and also stresses that "motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and protection" and refers to the family as "the natural and fundamental group unit of society."

Also in 1948, the General Assembly adopted a second Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a brief, seven-point statement that built on the 1924 Declaration: "By the present Declaration of the Rights of the ChildÅ men and women of all nations, recognizing that Mankind owes to the child the best that it has to give, declare and accept it as their duty to meet this obligation in all respectsÅ ." The 1948 Declaration was followed almost immediately by a decision to draft a still more detailed Declaration, resulting just over a decade later in a third Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the General Assembly in 1959.

The international legal framework was buttressed further in 1961 with the adoption of the two International Covenants ­ on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These two Covenants became binding on States Parties as of 1976, when they entered into force and as such they provided a legal as well as a moral obligation for countries to respect the human rights of each individual. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the two International Covenants and the optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights make up what is known as the International Bill of Human Rights.

A proposal for a legally binding treaty

Declarations ­ such as the Declaration of the Rights of the Child that was adopted in 1959 ­ are statements of moral and ethical intent; they are not legally binding instruments, as were the two International Covenants. For child rights to carry the weight of international law, a 'Convention' or a 'Covenant' was required. Thus, in 1978, on the eve of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Child, Poland formally proposed a draft text for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The following year, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights formed a working group to review and expand on the original Polish text. The working group drew heavily from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in formulating what became the 41 substantive articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Adoption of the Convention

The UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 and it entered into force ­ or became legally binding on States Parties ­ in September 1990. That same month, the world leaders at the World Summit for Children, held at the United Nations in New York, made a 'solemn commitment' to accord child rights a high priority.

The World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, set the end of 1995 as a target for the universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. By the last day of that year, 185 States had ratified, making it the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. As of mid-2003, only two States had not yet ratified.

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UNICEF's commitment to child rights standards

"A United Nations that will not stand up for human rights is a United Nations that cannot stand up for itself."­ Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations

The new, worldwide recognition accorded to children's rights and the widespread acceptance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child have presented great opportunities for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and have revitalized its work. The UNICEF Mission Statement agreed on by the Executive Board in 1996 formally acknowledges that the pursuit of the rights of children and women is a fundamental purpose of UNICEF. The Mission Statement also makes clear that UNICEF's work for the overall protection of childhood is guided by the principles and standards established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. When women's rights are respected in a society, then it follows that children's rights will also be better protected.

A rights-based approach to programming

Since its foundation in the aftermath of World War II as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, UNICEF has been strongly committed to protecting the rights of children in times of peace and war, by encouraging action and advocating in favour of the most disadvantaged and forgotten. Following the widespread ratification in the 1990s of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has become an essential actor in the field of human rights, incorporating the principles of the Convention and of other human rights treaties into its programmes. See A Human Rights Conceptual Framework for UNICEF (PDF, 2.69 MB--you will need the Acrobat Reader to view this document) for more information on UNICEF's role in promoting and respecting human rights.

Since its foundation in the aftermath of World War II as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, UNICEF has been strongly committed to protecting the rights of children in times of peace and war, by encouraging action and advocating in favour of the most disadvantaged and forgotten. In the 1990s, following adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF has become an essential actor in the field of human rights, incorporating the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and of other human rights treaties into its programmes. The Convention's guiding principles ­ non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, child survival and development and the participation of children ­ frame UNICEF's human rights approach to development. UNICEF country programming is based on and tested against, its fulfilment of the promise of these principles.

UNICEF offices throughout the developing world are working with national partners and other UN agencies in an increasingly systematic way to identify rights-based approaches to such complex problems affecting the realization of children's rights as HIV/AIDS, child labour, malnutrition, lack of access to basic education and armed conflict. In all regions, this human rights perspective has led to new opportunities for collaboration that go beyond well-established partnerships at the national level. UNICEF has forged many new alliances ­ with development banks, specialized agencies, professional and media groups and community and civil society organizations ­ to better reach the most marginalized and exploited children, whose rights are often least respected.

Click here for examples of recent UNICEF-supported programmes that incorporate an emphasis on promoting and protecting children's rights, in the areas of:

* Civil rights and freedoms;

* Family environment and parental guidance;

* Basic health and welfare of children;

* Education, leisure and recreation;

* Children in need of special protection measures.

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The Process: From Signature to Ratification

Article 46 of the Convention states that it is "open for signature by all States." Articles 47 and 48 respectively add that the Convention is "subject to ratification" and is "open for accession." The Convention was officially opened for signature, ratification and accession on 26 January 1990.

What does it mean for a country to 'sign' the Convention?

Signature constitutes a preliminary and general endorsement of the Convention by the country in question. It is not a legally binding step, but is an indication that the country intends to undertake a careful examination of the treaty in good faith to determine its position towards it. While signing the Convention does not in any way commit the country to proceed to ratification, it does create an obligation to refrain from acts that would defeat the objectives of the Convention, or to take measures to undermine it.

What are 'accession' and 'ratification'?

Articles 47 and 48 of the Convention state that a country can become a State Party to it either by ratification or accession. Both of these acts signify an agreement to be legally bound by the terms of the Convention. The distinction refers to two different procedures to becoming a State Party and is essentially irrelevant. Accession has exactly the same effects as ratification. Most commonly, a country in favour of a convention signs shortly after it has been adopted and follows up with ratification when all procedures required by domestic law have been fulfilled. Countries that have not signed can become States Parties through accession to the Convention.

What formalities are involved in ratification and accession?

Both ratification and accession involve two steps.

Step One: The appropriate organ(s) of the country (whether it be the Parliament, the Senate, the Crown or the Head of State/Government) take(s) a formal decision to be a Party to the Convention in accordance with the relevant domestic constitutional procedures.

Step Two: As required by articles 47 and 48 of the Convention, the Government (normally the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) deposits the instrument of ratification or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This means:

* a formal letter, under seal, referring to the relevant decision, signed by the responsible authority in the country is prepared. This is the instrument of ratification or accession;

* this document in original is submitted to the UN Office of Legal Affairs in New York. The date of receipt of the document is then registered as the date of ratification or accession for the country in question.

The Convention becomes legally binding in the country 30 days after the instrument of ratification or accession has been received.

What precedes ratification or accession?

The formal procedures vary enormously in different countries when ratifying or acceding to an international treaty. It is therefore impossible to give specific descriptions of the required procedures beyond some general observations.

In some countries, the Head of State/Government is constitutionally empowered to ratify or accede to a treaty of his or her own accord. In others, the agreement of the legislative authorities is required. In many cases, a combination of these two systems is used.

Normally, before actually ratifying or acceding to the Convention, a country undertakes a detailed review of the Convention's requirements and gives careful consideration to the most appropriate and effective means to promote compliance, particularly in terms of amending national legislation. In some cases, this may be done through consultations with the principal social partners in the society such as trade unions and employer groups, child welfare and other groups and NGOs.

Must compliance be assured before a country can ratify or accede to the Convention?

It is not obligatory for countries to adopt in advance all of the legislative and other measures foreseen by the Convention on the Rights of the Child before ratifying or acceding to it.

Nevertheless, a country is expected to be in compliance with the Convention's obligations within a reasonable time after ratification or accession. The question of how long is "reasonable" remains open to debate. Article 44 of the Convention requires States Parties to report on measures they have adopted to give effect to child rights within two years of their adherence to the Convention. This two-year period is a reasonable outer limit for the achievement of compliance with the Convention's obligations.

The Convention does, however, make a distinction between economic, social and cultural rights on the one hand and civil and political rights on the other. For economic, social and cultural rights, article 4 provides that countries need "undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources...." This means that where it can genuinely be shown that no resources are presently available, or could reasonably be made available in the immediate future, the obligation will not be considered to have been violated. The obligation is to work towards progressive realization and a good-faith effort must be demonstrated.

Article 4 also calls for international cooperation to ensure implementation of the Convention. The inclusion of such a reference is new in international human rights law. This refers to the need for international assistance from organizations such as UNICEF as well as bilateral assistance. According to the Convention, industrialized countries have certain obligations to assist developing countries.

What is the Convention's significance in countries that have not ratified or acceded to it?

The Convention is not formally binding upon a country that has not ratified it. Nevertheless, its provisions still carry significant weight for several reasons:

* the Convention has an effect on all countries as part of international customary law. The Convention represents an international consensus on child rights;

* the Convention was adopted unanimously by the UN General Assembly after a long process, with a large number of countries having been actively involved;

* the importance of the Convention as a guide for work on behalf of children was underlined by the 71 Heads of State/Government plus observers at the World Summit for Children;

* the support of the standards contained in the Convention by a large number of countries through ratification, and the actual implementation of the standards by countries that already are States Parties will influence and guide much of the debate on child rights at the international level, with inevitable consequences for all countries;

* the UNICEF Executive Board decided in 1991 (decision 1991/9) that all programmes should reflect the principles of the Convention, meaning that UNICEF must use the Convention as a frame of reference for all programmes, whether a country has ratified or not.

Although UNICEF cannot make reference to a legal obligation in non-ratifying countries, the Convention should be held as an international standard and staff should refer to this universal consensus on the standards of the Convention. As such, the Convention cannot be completely disregarded by any country.

Signature, Ratification and Accession

The draft provides that the Convention shall be open for signature by all States. This is a formality, but nevertheless an important one, since it constitutes a very general preliminary endorsement of the Convention. However, signature by a State does not in any way commit it to proceed to the next, and final, step of ratification. It does qualify the State to ratify, and, in accordance with article 18 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, creates an obligation of good faith to refrain from acts calculated to frustrate the goals of the Convention. In other words, it would be an act of bad faith for a State to sign the Convention one and then violate its provisions the next day -- even though the Convention is not actually binding for that State until it has ratified it.

Ratification consists of two steps. The first is for the appropriate organ of the State (e.g. the Parliament, the Senate, the Crown, etc.) to agree to undertake the relevant treaty obligations and to do so in accordance with the relevant constitutional procedures. The second is for the Government to deposit an instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General. If the Convention has already entered into force at that time, the State will be bound by the Convention as from the 30th day after ratification.

Accession is essentially just another word for ratification, except that it is not preceded by any act of signature.

Entry into force. The Convention does not enter into force, i.e. become operational, until it has been ratified (or acceded to) by 20 States.

Treaty or Convention? In general terms, any form of intentional agreement that formally creates legal obligations for the parties thereto is considered a treaty. Treaties take many different forms including conventions, covenants, protocols, charters, statutes, etc. In the human rights area, the most common term used is "convention." The only important distinction is between a "declaration," which represents only a moral commitment and is not legally binding and a "convention," which, by definition, is legally binding.

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Who is responsible for protecting children's rights?

"The well-being of children requires political action at the highest level. We are determined to take that action." ­ World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, 1990

The near-universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child reflects a global commitment to the principles of children's rights and by ratifying the Convention, governments state their intention to put this commitment into practice. The task, however, must engage not just governments but all members of society. The standards and principles articulated in the Convention can only become a reality when they are respected by everyone ­ within the family, in schools and other institutions that provide services for children, in communities and at all levels of administration.

Families and children's rights

The Convention on the Rights of the Child highlights and upholds the primary importance of families ­ and parents in particular ­ in protecting children's rights. There is a misperception that the Convention takes responsibility for children away from their parents and other legal guardians and gives more authority in this area to governments. But that is not the case. In several articles, the Convention refers to the role of parents and families directly and charges governments with protecting and assisting families in fulfilling their essential role as nurturers of their children. It calls on governments to respect the responsibility of parents, legal guardians and other caregivers for providing appropriate guidance to children about the exercise of children's rights.

In the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, outdated notions that parents 'own' their children and have absolute rights over them are replaced by the concept that parents are responsible for protecting their children's rights (article 5 and article 18). While article 5 makes clear that parents do have rights with respect to their children, these rights are linked directly to the need for parents to promote and protect their children's rights. Parents' responsibilities with respect to their children's rights diminish as children mature ­ as children begin to understand their society's values, culture and norms and as they begin to interact on the basis of tolerance, mutual respect and solidarity in their families and communities. The Convention on the Rights of the Child acknowledges the balance between the rights and responsibilities of families, on the one hand and the increasing capacity of children to become the main actors in the exercise of their rights and responsibilities, on the other.

Putting principles into practice

Above all, translating child rights principles into practice requires action and leadership by governments. By ratifying the Convention, States commit to undertaking "all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the Convention" (article 4) and to reporting on such measures to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the internationally-elected body of experts charged with monitoring States' implementation of the Convention. The Committee then reviews and comments on the States' reports.

As noted by a member of the Committee during a review of one State's report, there are no specific right or wrong measures of implementation. What is key is that the Convention should be the main benchmark and inspiration for action at all levels of government. And because the protection of human rights is by nature a permanent and endless process, there is always room for improvement.

In its reviews, the Committee urges all levels of government to use the Convention as a guide in policy-making and implementation, to:

* Develop a comprehensive national agenda.

* Develop permanent bodies or mechanisms to promote coordination, monitoring and evaluation of activities throughout all sectors of government.

* Ensure that all legislation is fully compatible with the Convention by incorporating it into domestic law or ensuring that its principles take precedence in cases of conflict with national legislation.

* Make children visible in policy development processes throughout government by introducing child impact assessments.

* Analyse government spending to determine the portion of public funds spent on children and to ensure that these resources are being used effectively.

* Ensure that sufficient data are collected and used to improve the situation of all children in each jurisdiction.

* Raise awareness and disseminate information on the Convention by providing training to all those involved in government policy-making and working with or for children.

* Involve civil society ­ including children themselves ­ in the process of implementing and raising awareness of child rights.

* Set up independent statutory offices ­ ombudspersons, commissions or other institutions ­ to promote and protect children's rights. The Committee on the Rights of the Child consistently urges governments to take special measures and develop special policies and programmes for children. In this way, it has contributed to the creation of a higher political priority for children and has promoted a growing awareness of how the actions and inaction of government affect children.

The role of local authorities

In many countries, local governments are increasingly assuming responsibility for protecting child rights. Indeed, local authorities have a pivotal role to play in giving support to other service providers and also in the areas of regulation, enforcement and monitoring of child rights. This role is increasing where decentralization and reduction of safety nets have created vacuums in social provision, adding to the burden at the local level. In many such cases, city and municipal authorities and local branches of national agencies become the primary actors in providing basic services for children. Even where assistance from higher levels of government is lacking, local authorities maintain the legal responsibility to respond as best they can to the situation of children under their jurisdiction.

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Questions parents ask

What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Why is a document describing children's rights necessary?

How does the Convention define a 'child'?

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child replace the laws in a particular country?

Who checks to see if countries are meeting the standards set by the Convention?

Does the Convention on the Rights of the Child take responsibility for children away from their parents and give more authority to governments?

Article 12 says that children have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them. Does this mean that children can now tell their parents what to do?

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child affect the way that parents pass on religious and moral teachings to their children?

In other words, the Convention encourages respect for others along with children's rights?

Can children still be expected to help their parents with chores?

What does the Convention on the Rights of the Child say about the ways parents discipline their children?

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child affect authority and discipline in schools?

Doesn't the Convention on the Rights of the Child raise rights issues that children are too young to understand?

What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?

The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the United Nations in 1989, spells out the basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled: the right to survival; the right to the development of their full physical and mental potential; the right to protection from influences that are harmful to their development; and the right to participation in family, cultural and social life.

The Convention protects these rights by setting minimum standards that governments must meet in providing health care, education and legal and social services to children in their countries.

The Convention is the result of 10 years of consultations and negotiations between government officials, lawyers, health care professionals, social workers, educators, children's support groups, non-governmental organizations and religious groups from around the world.

More countries have ratified the Convention than any other human rights treaty in history -- 192 countries had become States Parties to the Convention as of November 2003.

Why is a document describing children's rights necessary?

Although many nations have laws relating to children's welfare and rights, the reality is that too many nations do not live up to their own minimum standards in these areas. Children suffer from poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases, unequal access to education and justice systems that do not recognize their special needs; children of minority groups are often particularly affected. These are problems that occur in both industrialized and developing countries.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its acceptance by so many countries has heightened recognition of the fundamental human dignity of all children and the urgency of ensuring their well-being and development. The Convention makes clear the idea that a basic quality of life should be the right of all children, rather than a privilege enjoyed by a few.

How does the Convention define a 'child'?

The Convention defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood as younger than 18.

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child replace the laws in a particular country?

When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children. This involves assessing their social services, legal, health and educational systems, as well as levels of funding for these services. Governments are then obliged to take all necessary steps to ensure that the minimum standards set by the Convention in these areas are being met.

In some instances, this may involve changing existing laws or creating new ones. Such legislative changes are not imposed from the outside, but come about through the same process by which any law is created or reformed within a country.

A number of these standards for children's rights and well-being already exist in the constitutions and legal systems of countries around the world. Where a country has higher legal standards than those set forth in the Convention, the higher standards always prevail.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation(article 4).

Who checks to see if countries are meeting the standards set by the Convention?

Governments that ratify the Convention must report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Reports on the situation of children's rights in their country are made within two years of ratification and every five years thereafter.

The Committee is made up of 10 members from different countries and legal systems who are of "high moral standing" and experts in the field of children's rights. They are nominated and elected by the governments that have ratified the Convention but act in a personal capacity, not as representatives of their countries.

It is important to remember that the Convention focuses primarily on what governments, rather than individuals, must do to ensure children's rights. The Committee on the Rights of the Child looks at how well governments are setting and meeting the Convention's standards for the well-being of children and families.

The Committee does not monitor the behaviour of individual parents. Nor does the Committee receive complaints from citizens, including children, against individual parents.

Does the Convention on the Rights of the Child take responsibility for children away from their parents and give more authority to governments?

On the contrary, the Convention upholds the primary importance of parents' role and refers to it repeatedly throughout the document. It says that governments must respect the responsibility of parents for providing appropriate guidance to their children, including guidance as to how children shall exercise their rights. And it places on governments the responsibility to protect and assist families in fulfilling their essential role as nurturers of children.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents...to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention (article 5).

States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child (article 18.1).

States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children (article 18.2).

Article 12 says that children have the right to express their views in all matters affecting them. Does this mean that children can now tell their parents what to do?

No, the intent of this article is to encourage adults to listen to the opinions of children and involve them in decision-making -- not to give children authority over adults. Article 12 does not interfere with parents' right and responsibility to express their views on matters affecting their children.

In promoting the right of children to express their views on matters affecting them, the Convention recognizes that such participation must occur in a manner that is appropriate to the child's level of maturity. Children's ability to form and express their opinions develops with age and most adults will naturally give the views of teenagers greater weight than those of a preschooler, whether in family, legal or administrative decisions.

The emphasis of this article is on legal and administrative issues. The Convention encourages parents, judges, social welfare workers or other responsible adults to consider the child's views on such matters and use that information to make decisions that will be in the child's best interests. In many countries, laws requiring consideration of children's opinions on such issues already exist.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child (article 12.1). For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child (article 12.2).

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child affect the way that parents pass on religious and moral teachings to their children?

The Convention respects the rights and duties of parents in providing religious and moral guidance to their children. Religious groups around the world have expressed support for the Convention, which indicates that it in no way prevents parents from bringing their children up within a religious tradition.

At the same time, the Convention recognizes that as children mature and are able to form their own views, some may question certain religious practices or cultural traditions. The Convention supports children's right to examine their beliefs, but it also states that their right to express their beliefs implies respect for the rights and freedoms of others.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (article 14.1).

States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents...to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child (article 14.2).

Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others (article 14.3).

In other words, the Convention encourages respect for others along with children's rights?

Yes, the Convention is explicit about the fact that young people not only have rights, but also the responsibility to respect the rights of others, especially of their parents. It states that one of the aims of education should be the development of respect for the child's parents and their values and culture. Rather than creating conflict between the rights of parents and the rights of children, the Convention encourages an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and mutual respect.

The issue of respect for others appears in several articles. For example, the Convention states that children have the right to freedom of expression and the right to meet with others or to form associations. But it stipulates that in exercising these rights, they must also respect the rights, freedoms and reputations of others.

What the Convention says:

States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to...the development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate and for civilizations different from his or her own (article 29.1.c).

The child shall have the right to freedom of expression.... The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary...for respect of the rights or reputations of others (articles 13.1 and 2.a).

States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary...in the interests of...the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others (articles 15.1 and 2).

Can children still be expected to help their parents with chores?

The Convention protects children from economic exploitation and from work that is hazardous to their health or interferes with their education. It was never intended to regulate smaller details of home life and there is nothing in the Convention that prohibits parents from expecting their children to help out at home in ways that are safe and appropriate to their age.

At times, children's help can also be essential in the running of a family farm or business. However, if they involve their children in such work, parents must be aware of the laws that regulate child labour in their countries. If children help out in a family farm or business, the Convention requires that the tasks they do be safe and suited to their level of development. Children's work should not jeopardize any of the other rights guaranteed by the Convention, including the right to education, or the right to rest, leisure, play and recreation.

When these conditions are met, helping their parents at home or in a business can be a way for children to learn about the increasing responsibilities they will have as they grow older.

What the Convention says:

States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development (article 32.1).

States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts (Article 31.1).

What does the Convention on the Rights of the Child say about the ways parents discipline their children?

The Convention makes it clear that children shall be protected from all forms of mental or physical violence or maltreatment. Thus, any forms of discipline involving such violence are unacceptable. In most countries, laws are already in place that define what sorts of punishments are considered excessive or abusive. It is up to each country to review these laws in light of the Convention.

The Convention does not specify what discipline techniques parents should use, but it strongly supports parents in providing guidance and direction to their children. There are ways to discipline children that are non-violent, are appropriate to the child's level of development and take the best interests of the child into consideration. Such forms of discipline are effective in helping children learn about family and social expectations for their behaviour.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall take all appropriate...measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse...while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child (article 19.1).

Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention... (article 19.2).

Will the Convention on the Rights of the Child affect authority and discipline in schools?

The Convention places a high value on education, devoting two articles to this issue. And common sense would indicate that schools must be run in an orderly way if children are to benefit from them. But order need not be imposed through the use of violence.

The Convention specifies that any form of school discipline should take into account the child's human dignity. Therefore, governments must ensure that school administrators review their discipline policies and eliminate any discipline practices involving physical or mental violence, abuse or neglect.

The Convention does not address such issues as school uniforms, dress codes, the singing of the national anthem or prayer in schools. It is up to governments and school officials in each country to determine whether, in the context of their society and existing laws, such matters infringe upon other rights protected by the Convention.

What the Convention says:

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention (article 28.2).

Doesn't the Convention on the Rights of the Child raise rights issues that children are too young to understand?

Children's interest in rights issues and the way in which parents handle those issues, will vary depending on the age of the child. Helping children to understand their rights does not mean pushing them to make choices with consequences they are too young to handle. The Convention encourages parents to deal with rights issues with their children "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child" (article 5).

Parents, who are intuitively aware of their child's level of development, will do this naturally. The issues they discuss, the way in which they answer questions, or the discipline methods they use will differ depending on whether the child is 3, 9 or 16 years of age.

When parents help their children to understand both rights and responsibilities and to respect the rights of others, they lay the foundation for responsible adulthood. They prepare their children, as the preamble to the Convention says, to live "in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity."

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Full text of the Convention

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. It entered into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49.

Status of ratifications Preamble

The States Parties to the present Convention,

Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,

Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,

Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,

Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children, '

Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth",

Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) ; and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict,

Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions and that such children need special consideration,

Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child,

Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing countries,

Have agreed as follows:
Part I

Article 1

For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.

Article 2

1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.

Article 3

1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.

3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.

Article 4

States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.

Article 5

States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.

Article 6

1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.

2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.

Article 7

1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.

Article 8

1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.

2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

Article 9

1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.

2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.

3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.

4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.

Article 10

1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.

2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their own and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention.

Article 11

1. States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.

2. To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements.

Article 12

1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.

Article 13

1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.

2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Article 14

1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.

3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

Article 15

1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.

2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 16

1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 17

States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health. To this end, States Parties shall:

(a) Encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to the child and in accordance with the spirit of article 29;

(b) Encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and dissemination of such information and material from a diversity of cultural, national and international sources;

(c) Encourage the production and dissemination of children's books;

(d) Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;

(e) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in mind the provisions of articles 13 and 18.

Article 18

1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.

2. For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children.

3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.

Article 19

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.

2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.

Article 20

1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.

2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.

3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.

Article 21

States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:

(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be necessary;

(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin; (c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;

(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;

(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or multilateral arrangements or agreements and endeavour, within this framework, to ensure that the placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.

Article 22

1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.

2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, co-operation in any efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason, as set forth in the present Convention.

Article 23

1. States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.

2. States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child. 3. Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child and shall be designed to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development

4. States Parties shall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation, the exchange of appropriate information in the field of preventive health care and of medical, psychological and functional treatment of disabled children, including dissemination of and access to information concerning methods of rehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enabling States Parties to improve their capabilities and skills and to widen their experience in these areas. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Article 24

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.

2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:

(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;

(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;

(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;

(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;

(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;

(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.

3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.

4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Article 25

States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the competent authorities for the purposes of care, protection or treatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review of the treatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.

Article 26

1. States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their national law.

2. The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources and the circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well as any other consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.

Article 27

1. States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.

3. States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing.

4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child, both within the State Party and from abroad. In particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the child lives in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession to international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as the making of other appropriate arrangements.

Article 28

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:

(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;

(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;

(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;

(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;

(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.

3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Article 29

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:

(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;

(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;

(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;

(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;

(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.

2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.

Article 30

In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.

Article 31

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

Article 32

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular: (a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;

(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;

(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article.

Article 33

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.

Article 34

States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:

(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;

(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;

(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.

Article 35

States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.

Article 36

States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare.

Article 37

States Parties shall ensure that:

(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;

(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;

(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;

(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority and to a prompt decision on any such action.

Article 38

1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.

2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.

3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give priority to those who are oldest.

4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.

Article 39

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.

Article 40

1. States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.

2. To this end and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:

(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they were committed;

(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:

(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;

(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his or her defence;

(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;

(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality;

(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;

(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language used;

(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings. 3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in particular:

(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law;

(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected.

4. A variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.

Article 41

Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of the child and which may be contained in:

(a) The law of a State party; or

(b) International law in force for that State.

Part II

Article 42

States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.

Article 43

1. For the purpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in achieving the realization of the obligations undertaken in the present Convention, there shall be established a Committee on the Rights of the Child, which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.

2. The Committee shall consist of ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field covered by this Convention. The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.

3. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.

4. The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every second year. At least four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating States Parties which have nominated them and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.

5. The elections shall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two thirds of States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.

6. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. The term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.

7. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or she can no longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party which nominated the member shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the approval of the Committee.

8. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.

9. The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.

10. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shall normally meet annually. The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall be determined and reviewed, if necessary, by a meeting of the States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General Assembly.

11. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.

12. With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee established under the present Convention shall receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide.

Article 44

1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights:

(a) Within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned;

(b) Thereafter every five years.

2. Reports made under the present article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the degree of fulfilment of the obligations under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain sufficient information to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of the Convention in the country concerned.

3. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not, in its subsequent reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 1 (b) of the present article, repeat basic information previously provided.

4. The Committee may request from States Parties further information relevant to the implementation of the Convention.

5. The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, every two years, reports on its activities.

6. States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.

Article 45

In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international co-operation in the field covered by the Convention:

(a) The specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other United Nations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;

(b) The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies, any reports from States Parties that contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical advice or assistance, along with the Committee's observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications;

(c) The Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of the child;

(d) The Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on information received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned and reported to the General Assembly, together with comments, if any, from States Parties.

Part III

Article 46

The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.

Article 47

The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 48

The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Article 49

1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.

2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.

Article 50

1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to States Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval.

2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.

3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.

Article 51

1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.

2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.

3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General

Article 52

A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.

Article 53

The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present Convention.

Article 54

The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In witness thereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their respective governments, have signed the present Convention.

*******************

on 27/4/05 3:59 PM, Fairlawn103@....com wrote:

Interesting then that children who express a desire (for whatever reason) NOT to have access to one or both of its parents are listened to and their wishes are heeded by the powers that be.

Ruth

In a message dated 27/04/2005 16:33:24 GMT Daylight Time, rwhiston@......demon.co.uk writes:

The 'right to know and be cared for by his or her parents' is a long way from giving the child (not an infant) the right to access its parents of it own volition unfettered from any nation's local laws or customs. If it were not so then there would by now have been a landmark case altering the situation men now find themselves in.

I think you will find that most citations of the UN Charter are the abridged version and you have to ferret out the original text to see why the caveats contained therein defeat the intention of the passage everyone like to reply upon.

I have written before on the nation states' local laws and customs overriding the UN Charter provisions (e.g. Saudi Arabia is free to sign up to the various treaties), and you make an oblique reference to it in the phrase 'States Parties'.

RW

________________________________________
From: UKFathers@yahoogroups.com
Sent: 27 April 2005
Subject: RE: (UKFathers) Julian speaks out on the dirty secrets of family destruction

I C wrote

This misrepresents the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which contains no assertion of a child's right of access to a parent, as I have repeatedly told Julian.

To the contrary, the United Nation¹s Convention plainly asserts the child's to right maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests. The convention recognizes a number of rights and protection for children including:

(A) Children have a right to know and be cared for by both parents, (article 7.1);
www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm

The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

(B) Children have a right of contact, on a regular basis, with both their parents and with other people significant to their care, welfare and development, except if this is contrary to the child¹s best interests (article 9.3)
www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm

States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.

© Parents share duties and responsibilities concerning the care, welfare and development of their children (article 18.1)
www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/k2crc.htm

States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.

A presumption of joint residence it is about children and it is about time It is self evident Julian Fitzgerald should be supported in the U K elections

Yuri
ce.

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