The Convention on the Rights of the Child – 20 years!

17 07 2009

The 20th of November 1989 the United Nations General Assembly adopted The Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention assembles all the rights found in different international instruments, and provides guiding principles that inevitably form the way we view children.


UNICEF chooses to put it this way: “[the convention] celebrates childhood and codifies in international law the rights due every child”. To cite UNICEF some more: “The articles of the Convention call for the provision of specific resources, skills and contributions necessary to ensure the survival and development of children to their maximum capability. The articles also require the creation of means to protect children from neglect, exploitation and abuse.”

There are two optional protocols to the Convention: The Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and The Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
I want to learn more about the optional protocols.


Here are some very interesting photo essays from UNICEF. 
These will guide you through the convention in a more visual way:
UNICEF Photo Essay I
UNICEF Photo Essay II


How is the fulfilment of States obligations monitored?
– The Committee on the Rights of the Child follows up the state’s actions (or neglections). Every state submits a report to the committee within 2 years of ratification, and every 5 years thereafter.
NGOs (non-governmental organizations) play a significant role in raising public awareness about the Convention and its goals.
UNICEF has a legal obligation to promote and protect child rights by supporting the work of the Committee on the Rights of the Child. In addition to contributing advice and assistance to the Committee, UNICEF facilitates broad consultations within States to maximize the accuracy and impact of reports to the Committee.



Read more:

Rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Human Rights Provisions
What you can do to help

Old school (=real books you might find interesting):

Children’s Rights in Education
Stuart N. Hart, Cynthia Price Cohen. 2001.
Empowering Children
Robert Brian Howe, Katherine Covell. 2005.