Declaration of the Rights of the Child
The first Declaration of the Rights of the Child, sometimes known as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, was an international document promoting child rights adopted by the League of Nations in 1924. In 1946 the newly formed United Nations resolved to adopt the document, in a much expanded version, as its own statement of children’s rights.
On 20 November 1959 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Declaration of the Rights of the Child, based on the structure and contents of the 1924 original, with ten principles. This date has been adopted as the Universal Children’s Day. An accompanying resolution, proposed by the delegation of Afghanistan, called on governments to recognise these rights, strive for their acceptance, and publicise the document as widely as possible. (See here for full text).
This Declaration was followed in 1989 by the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by UN General Assembly Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989 entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49
Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC or UNCRC) is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under national legislation.
Nations that ratify this convention are bound to it by international law. Compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (see below). Governments of countries that have ratified the Convention are required to report to, and appear before, the Committee 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.
The UN General Assembly adopted the Convention and opened it for signature on in1989 on the 30th anniversary of its Declaration of the Rights of the Child. The Convention came into force on 2 September 1990, after it was ratified by the required number of nations. Currently, 196 countries are party to it, including every member of the United Nations except the United States. (See here for full text)
Committee on the Rights of the Child
The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the body of 18 Independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties. It also monitors implementation of two Optional Protocols to the Convention, on involvement of children in armed conflict and on sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. On 19 December 2011, the UN General Assembly approved a third Optional Protocol on a communications procedure, which will allow individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention and its first two optional protocols. The Protocol entered into force in April 2014.
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.