UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
(Information for teachers)
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a comprehensive human rights treaty that enshrines specific children’s rights in international law. These rights define universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.
Human rights are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, gender, language, religion, opinions, wealth or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere.
The Convention recognises the human rights of children, defined as any person under the age of 18. In addition, it is the only international human rights treaty which includes civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and it sets out in detail what every child needs to have for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood.
On 20 November 1989, the governments represented at the UN General Assembly agreed to adopt the CRC into international law. It subsequently came into force in September 1990. All UN member states except for the United States and Somalia (which has signaled its intention to ratify) have now formally approved the Convention.
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, based in Geneva, monitors compliance. States which are party to the CRC are required to report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Each country has to submit a comprehensive report on its implementation every five years. The Committee is a UN treaty monitoring body which assesses how well states are implementing the Convention, reports on progress and makes recommendations.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child consists of 54 articles. A summary of these can be found at http://www.unicef.org/crc/index_30177.html.