Development of Rights of the Child in the UN

  • First mention of the ‘rights of the child’ in 1924 when the Assembly of the League of the Nations passed a resolution endorsing the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ promulgated by the Council of the non-governmental ‘Save the Children International Union.’
  • In 1948, it served as the basis for a slightly expanded, seven-point Declaration adopted by the General Assembly of the newly constituted UN.
  • Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by UN GA on November 20, 1959, which is still valid today.
  • The essential theme underlying all of these non-binding declarations was that children need special protection care and priority .
  • In 1978, Poland tabled a proposed convention, modeled closely on the 1959 Declarations but it failed to gain support.
  • An open-ended Group of the UN Commission on HR was established, and met from 1979 until 1988 when the draft of the present Convention was completed and sent to the General Assembly for adoption.
  • The convention not only covers the traditionally defined human rights like, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights but it constitutes a major leap forward in standard-setting on children’s issues.

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