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Convention on the Rights of the Child
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Contents

The Convention deals with child-specific needs and rights. It requires that the "nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law". Ratifying states must act in the best interests of the child.

In all jurisdictions implementing the Convention requires compliance with child custody and guardianship laws as every child has basic rights, including the right to life, to their own name and identity, to be raised by their parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.

The Convention obliges states to allow parents to exercise their parental responsibilities. The Convention also acknowledges that children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate, to be protected from abuse or exploitation, and to have their privacy protected, and it requires that their lives not be subject to excessive interference.

The Convention also obliges signatory states to provide separate legal representation for a child in any judicial dispute concerning their care and asks that the child's viewpoint be heard in such cases.

The Convention forbids capital punishment for children. In its General Comment 8 (2006) the Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that there was an "obligation of all state parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children".[16] Article 19 of the Convention states that state parties must "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence",[17] but it makes no reference to corporal punishment. The Committee's interpretation of this section to encompass a prohibition on corporal punishment has been rejected by several state parties to the Convention, including Australia,[18] Canada and the United Kingdom.

The European Court of Human Rights has referred to the Convention when interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights.[19]

Global standards and cultural relativism

Global human rights standards were challenged at the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna (1993) when a number of governments (prominently China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran) raised serious objections to the idea of universal human rights.[20] There are unresolved tensions between "universalistic" and "relativistic" approaches in the establishment of standards and strategies designed to prevent or overcome the abuse of children's capacity to work.[20]

Child marriage and slavery

Some scholars link child marriages to slavery and slavery-like practices.[21] Child marriage as slavery is not directly addressed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

States party and signatories

As of 8 September 2020 196 countries are parties to the treaty (some with stated reservations or interpretations). This includes every member of the United Nations except the United States, plus the Cook Islands, Niue, the State of Palestine, and the Holy See.[1][9][11] South Sudan did not sign the convention; however, ratification was complete in January 2015.[22] Somalia's domestic ratification finished in January 2015 and the instrument was deposited with the United Nations in October 2015.[23] Taiwan incorporated the Convention into domestic law on 20 November 2014, and signed an Instrument of Accession to the CRC on 16 May 2016.[24]

All successor states of Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia) made declarations of succession to the treaty and currently apply it.

The convention does not apply in the territories of Tokelau[25] Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Gibraltar and Guernsey. However, the Government of Guernsey have declared their intention to have the UK's ratification of the convention extended to them by 2022.[26]

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child on 21 July[27] 1992.[28][29] In terms of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a significant number of laws, decrees and resolutions were approved in Azerbaijan by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers focusing on the development of the child welfare system.[29] In this regard, the Convention No. 182 of the Internation Labour Organization, i.e. the Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the Recommendation No. 190 of the International Labour Organization and the Hague Adoption Convention were ratified by Milli Majlis, the parliament of Azerbaijan, in 2004.[27]

There is a concern over the administration of juvenile justice in Azerbaijan, mostly regarding compliance with articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other relevant standards such as the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty.[29] Therefore, international organizations assisted Azerbaijan to improve the situation in the field of juvenile justice.

Nations that have ratified this convention or have acceded to it are bound to it by international law. When a state has signed the treaty but not ratified it, it is not yet bound by the treaty's provisions but is already obliged to not act contrary to the treaty's purpose.[6]

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, composed of 18 independent experts, is responsible for supervising the implementation of the Convention by the states that have ratified it. Their governments are required to report to and appear before the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child periodically to be examined on their progress with regards to the advancement of the implementation of the Convention and the status of child rights in their country.[7] Their reports and the committee's written views and concerns are available on the committee's website.

Also, individuals can appeal to the Committee on the Rights of the Child if they believe that rights according to the Convention have been violated. The third possibility for monitoring the implementation of the Convention are inquiries that the Committee on the Rights of the Child can carry out on their own initiative if they have reliable information that leads them to believe that the rights stated in the Convention have been violated by a member state. However, «states [...] may opt out from the inquiry procedure, at the time of signature or ratification or accession».[8] Once a year, the Committee submits a report to the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, which also hears a statement from the CRC Chair, and the Assembly adopts a Resolution on the Rights of the Child.[9]

The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention and opened it for signature on 20 November 1989 (the 30th anniversary of its Declaration of the Rights of the Child).[10] It came into force on 2 September 1990,[1] after it was ratified by the required number of nations. As of 8 September 2020, 196 countries are party to it, including every member of the United Nations except the United States.[1][9][11][12]

Two optional protocols were adopted on 25 May 2000. The First Optional Protocol restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Both protocols have been ratified by more than 170 states.[13][14] A third optional protocol relating to communication of complaints was adopted in December 2011 and opened for signature on 28 February 2012. It came into effect on 14 April 2014.[15]

The Convention deals with child-specific needs and rights. It requires that the "nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law". Ratifying states must act in the best interests of the child.

In all jurisdictions implementing the Convention requires compliance with child custody and guardianship laws as every child has basic rights, including the right to life, to their own name and identity, to be raised by their parents within a family or cultural grouping, and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated.

The Convention obliges states to allow parents to exercise their parental responsibilities. The Convention also acknowledges that children have the right to express their opinions and to have those opinions heard and acted upon when appropriate, to be protected from abuse or exploitation, and to have their privacy protected, and it requires that their lives not be subject to excessive interference.

The Convention also obliges signatory states to provide separate legal representation for a child in any judicial dispute concerning their care and asks that the child's viewpoint be heard in such cases.

The Convention forbids capital punishment for children. In its General Comment 8 (2006) the Committee on the Rights of the Child stated that there was an "obligation of all state parties to move quickly to prohibit and eliminate all corporal punishment and all other cruel or degrading forms of punishment of children".[16] Article 19 of the Convention states that state parties must "take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence",[17] but it makes no reference to corporal punishment. The Committee's interpretation of this section to encompass a prohibition on corporal punishment has been rejected by several state parties to the Convention, including Australia,[18] Canada and the United Kingdom.

The European Court of Human Rights has referred to the Convention when interpreting the European Convention on Human Rights.[19]

Global standards and cultural relativism

Some scholars link child marriages to s

Some scholars link child marriages to slavery and slavery-like practices.[21] Child marriage as slavery is not directly addressed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

States party and signatories

As of 8 September 2020 196 countries are parties to the treaty (some with stated reservations or interpretations). This includes every member of the United Nations except the United States, plus the Cook Islands, Niue, the State of Palestine, and the Holy See.[1][9][11] South Sudan did not sign the convention; however, ratification was complete in January 2015.[22] Somalia's domestic ratification finished in January 2015 and the instrument was deposited with the United Nations in October 2015.[23] Taiwan incorporated the Convention into domestic law on 20 November 2014, and signed an Instrument of Accession to the CRC on 16 May 2016.[24]

All successor states of Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic and Slovakia) and Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia) made declarations of succession to the treaty and currently apply it.

The convention does not apply in the territories of TokelauTokelau[25] Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Gibraltar and Guernsey. However, the Government of Guernsey have declared their intention to have the UK's ratification of the convention extended to them by 2022.[26]

Azerbaijan ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child on 21 July[27] 1992.[28][29] In terms of the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a significant number of laws, decrees and resolutions were approved in Azerbaijan by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers focusing on the development of the child welfare system.[29] In this regard, the Convention No. 182 of the Internation Labour Organization, i.e. the Convention on the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, the Recommendation No. 190 of the International Labour Organization and the Hague Adoption Convention were ratified by Milli Majlis, the parliament of Azerbaijan, in 2004.[27]

There is a concern over the administration of juvenile justice in Azerbaijan, mostly regarding compliance with articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other relevant standards such as the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Depri

There is a concern over the administration of juvenile justice in Azerbaijan, mostly regarding compliance with articles 37, 39 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as other relevant standards such as the Beijing Rules, the Riyadh Guidelines and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty.[29] Therefore, international organizations assisted Azerbaijan to improve the situation in the field of juvenile justice.[30][27] Juvenile offenders have been added to the Presidential pardons on a regular basis.[27]

Azerbaijan has built cooperation with many international organizations, in particular with UNICEF in the field of child protection. In 1993, UNICEF began its activity in Azerbaijan. In 2005, Azerbaijan and UNICEF signed a five-year country program. The country program for 2005-2009 was implemented in the field of child protection, children's health and nutrition, children's education and youth health, their development and participation. In addition, UNICEF supports Azerbaijan in improving its juvenile justice system, establishing an alternative care system and raising awareness among youth about HIV/AIDS.[27]

Canada became a signatory to the Convention on 28 May 1990[1] and ratified in 1991.[31] Youth criminal laws in Canada underwent major changes resulting in the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) which went into effect on 1 April 2003. The Act specifically refers to Canada's different commitments under the Convention. The convention was influential in the administrative law decision of Baker v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration).

India

India ratified UNCRC on 11 December 1992, agreeing in principle to all articles but with certain reservations on issues relating to child labor.[1] In India there is a law that children under the age of 18 should not work,[citation needed] but there is no outright ban on child labor, and the practice is generally permitted in most industries except those deemed "hazardous", for which minimum ages apply.[1] Although a law in October 2006 banned child labor in hotels, restaurants, and as domestic servants, there continues to be a high demand for children as hired help in the home. There are different estimates as to the number of child laborers in the country. According to the government's conservative estimate, in 2011 4.4 million children under 14 years of age were working in India,[32] while the NGO Save the Children in a statement of 2016 cites a study by the Campaign Against Child Labour that estimates the number of child laborers in India at 12.7 million.[33]

In 2016, the Child and Adolescent Labour (Amendment) Act was introduced, which prohibited the economic employment of children under the age of 14 years and the employment of adolescents (14-17 years of age) in hazardous occupations. Some exceptions exist in the case of children under 14 years—they can aid in the

In 2016, the Child and Adolescent Labour (Amendment) Act was introduced, which prohibited the economic employment of children under the age of 14 years and the employment of adolescents (14-17 years of age) in hazardous occupations. Some exceptions exist in the case of children under 14 years—they can aid in the family enterprise and participate in the entertainment industry, provided that it does not harm their school education, and that they do not work between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Iran has adhered to the convention (except for alleged child slavery)[34] since 1991 and ratified it in the Parliament in 1994. Upon ratification, Iran made the following reservation: "If the text of the Convention is or becomes incompatible with the domestic laws and Islamic standards at any time or in any case, the Government of the Islamic Republic shall not abide by it."[35] Iran has also signed both optional protocols which relate to the special protection of children against involvement in armed conflict and the sale of children and sexual exploitation.[36]

Although Iran is a state party to the Convention, international human rights organisations[37][38] and foreign governments[39] routinely denounced executions of Iranian child offenders as a violation of the treaty. But on 10 February 2012, Iran's parliament changed

Although Iran is a state party to the Convention, international human rights organisations[37][38] and foreign governments[39] routinely denounced executions of Iranian child offenders as a violation of the treaty. But on 10 February 2012, Iran's parliament changed the controversial law of executing juveniles. In the new law, the age of 18 (solar year) would be considered the minimum age for adulthood and offenders under this age will be sentenced under a separate law.[40][41] Based on the previous law, which was revised, girls at the age of 9 and boys at 15 (lunar year, 11 days shorter than a solar year) were fully responsible for their crimes.[40]

"According to Islamic sources, the criterion for criminal responsibility is reaching the age of maturity which, according to the Shi'ite School of the IRI, is 9 lunar years (8 years and 9 months) for girls and 15 lunar years (14 years and 7 months) for boys."[42]

Ireland signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 30 September 1990 and ratified it, without reservation, on 28 September 1992.[43] In response to criticisms expressed in the 1998 review by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva, the Irish government established the office of Ombudsman for Children and drew up a national children's strategy. In 2006, following concerns expressed by the committee that the wording of the Irish Constitution does not allow the State to intervene in cases of abuse other than in very exceptional cases, the Irish government undertook to amend the constitution to make a more explicit commitment to children's rights.[44]

Israel

Israel ratified the Convention in 1991. In 2010, UNICEF criticized Israel for its failure to create a government-appointed commission on children's rights or to adopt a national children's rights strategy or program in order to implement various Israeli laws addressing children's rights. The report criticizes Israel for holding that the Convention does not apply in the West Bank and for defining as Palestinians under the age of 16 in the occupied territories as children, even though Israeli law defines a child as being under 18, in line with the Convention. A contemporaneous report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that Israel's investment in children is below the international average and the actual investment had fallen between 1995 and 2006.[45] In 2012, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child criticized Israel for its bombing attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, stating, "Destruction of homes and damage to schools, streets and other public facilities gravely affect children" and called them "gross violations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict and international humanitarian law". It also criticized Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israel which traumatized Israeli children, calling on all parties to protect children.[46]

New Zealand