Children's rights

On 20.11.1989 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child - the first legally binding international convention to promote human rights for all children. Republic of Bulgaria ratified it with resolution of the Grand National Assembly on 04/11/1991, and since June 1991 the Convention has been in force in the country as part of the domestic law.

The full text of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found here.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child child-friendly version here.

General Comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child explaining the Convention here.

 

  

                                                  

CRC@25

Activating a promise!


Nearly 25 years ago, the world made a promise to children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.

This year, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), there is much to celebrate: from declining infant mortality, through rising school enrolment, to better opportunities for girls.

In spite of the overall gains, there are many children who have fallen even further behind. Old challenges have combined with new problems to deprive many children of their rights and the benefits of development. To meet these challenges, and to reach those children who are hardest to reach, we need new ways of thinking and new ways of doing.

It is not accidental that the CRC is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. The Convention changed the way children are viewed and treated – i.e., as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity.

The unprecedented acceptance of the Convention clearly shows a wide global commitment to advancing children’s rights. This unique treaty paved the way for positive changes throughout the world, and improved the lives of millions of children.

The historic milestone of the 25th anniversary is an occasion of joy and pride, but it must also serve as an urgent reminder that much remains to be done. Too many children still do not enjoy their full rights on par with their peers.

Business as usual is not enough to make the vision of the Convention a reality for all children. The world needs new ideas and approaches, and the Convention must become a guiding document for every human being in every nation on Earth.

We should not forget that the principles outlined in the international human rights framework apply both to children and adults. Children are mentioned explicitly in many of the human rights instruments; standards are specifically modified or adapted where the needs and concerns surrounding a right are distinct for children.

In this context, the Convention on the Rights of the Child brings together the children’s human rights articulated in other international instruments. This Convention articulates the rights more completely and provides a set of guiding principles that fundamentally shapes the way in which we view children.

This compilation and clarification of children’s human rights sets out the necessary environment and means to enable every human being to develop to their full potential. The articles of the Convention, in addition to laying the foundational principles from which all rights must be achieved, 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.

Let’s remember that all children have the same rights. All rights are interconnected and of equal importance. The Convention stresses these principles and refers to the responsibility of children to respect the rights of others, especially their parents. By the same token, children's understanding of the issues raised in the Convention will vary depending on the age of the child.

The Convention expressly recognizes that parents have the most important role in the bringing up of children. The text encourages parents to deal with rights issues with their children "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child" (article 5). The topics 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.

And in this complex process filled with challenges but also hope, UNICEF acts as a leading partner. It has more than 60 years of experience working for children, and is the only organization specifically named in the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a source of expert assistance and advice. In advocating to protect children's rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential, UNICEF helps to strengthen laws and policies and to improve understanding of the Convention at all levels of society.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up.