Convention on the Rights of the Child
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
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter
of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and
inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of
freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter,
reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth
of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better
standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and
agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth
or other status,
Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United
Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and
Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the
natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and
particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and
assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or
her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of
happiness, love and understanding,
Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual
life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the
Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace,
dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been
stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the
Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20
November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in
the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in
articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant
instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned
with the welfare of children,
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the
Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs
special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as
well as after birth",
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles
relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to
Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally; the United Nations
Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing
Rules); and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency
and Armed Conflict, Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are
children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children
need special consideration,
Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of
each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child,
Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for improving the
living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means
every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law
applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the
present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without
discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's
or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the
child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the
basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's
parents, legal guardians, or family members.
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or
private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities
or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary
2. States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as
is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and
duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally
responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate
legislative and administrative measures.
3. States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities
responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the
standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of
safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as
States Parties shall undertake all
appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the
implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard
to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such
measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed,
within the framework of international co-operation.
States Parties shall respect the
responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members
of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal
guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a
manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate
direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in
the present Convention.
1. States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
2. States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival
and development of the child.
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the
right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as
possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in
accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant
international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would
otherwise be stateless.
1. States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his
or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized
by law without unlawful interference.
2. Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his
or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and
protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.
1. States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his
or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to
judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures,
that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such
determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse
or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living
separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
2. In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all
interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the
proceedings and make their views known.
3. States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from
one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both
parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best
4. Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party,
such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including
death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of
one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request,
provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family
with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent
member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be
detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure
that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse
consequences for the person(s) concerned.
1. In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9,
paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a
State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by
States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties
shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no
adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.
2. A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to
maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal
relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in
accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1,
States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to
leave any country, including their own, and to enter their own country. The
right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are
prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security,
public order (ordre public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms
of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present
1. States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and
non-return of children abroad.
2. To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or
multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements.
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or
her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting
the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the
age and maturity of the child.
2. For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the
opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting
the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body,
in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
1. The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall
include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds,
regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of
art, or through any other media of the child's choice.
2. The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but
these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre
public), or of public health or morals.
1. States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion.
2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and,
when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the
exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities
of the child.
3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such
limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety,
order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association
and to freedom of peaceful assembly.
2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than
those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic
society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order
(ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of
the rights and freedoms of others.
1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his
or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her
honour and reputation.
2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such
interference or attacks.
States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media
and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a
diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the
promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and
To this end, States Parties shall:
(a) Encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of
social and cultural benefit to the child and in accordance with the spirit of
(b) Encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and
dissemination of such information and material from a diversity of cultural,
national and international sources;
(c) Encourage the production and dissemination of children's books;
(d) Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic
needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
(e) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of
the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being,
bearing in mind the provisions of articles 13 and 18.
1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the
principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and
development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have
the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The
best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
2. For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the
present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to
parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing
responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities
and services for the care of children.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children
of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and
facilities for which they are eligible.
1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative,
social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical
or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment,
maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of
parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
2. Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective
procedures for the establishment of social programmes to provide necessary
support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as
for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral,
investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment
described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
1. A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family
environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that
environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by
2. States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure
alternative care for such a child.
3. Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic
law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of
children. When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the
desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic,
religious, cultural and linguistic background.
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall
ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration
and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent
authorities who determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and
on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is
permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and
legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their
informed consent to the adoption on the basis of such counselling as may be
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative
means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive
family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys
safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption,
the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by
concluding bilateral or multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavour,
within this framework, to ensure that the placement of the child in another
country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.
1. States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who
is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with
applicable international or domestic law and procedures shall, whether
unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person,
receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of
applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international
human rights or humanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.
2. For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider
appropriate, co-operation in any efforts by the United Nations and other
competent intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations
co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to
trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order
to obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In
cases where no parents or other members of the family can be found, the child
shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or
temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason , as set
forth in the present Convention.
1. States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child
should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote
self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.
2. States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care
and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to
the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for
which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and
to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
3. Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in
accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article shall be provided free of
charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the
parents or others caring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that the
disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health
care services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and
recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the
fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or
her cultural and spiritual development
4. States Parties shall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation,
the exchange of appropriate information in the field of preventive health care
and of medical, psychological and functional treatment of disabled children,
including dissemination of and access to information concerning methods of
rehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enabling
States Parties to improve their capabilities and skills and to widen their
experience in these areas. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of
the needs of developing countries.
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the
highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of
illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that
no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in
particular, shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care
to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of
primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available
technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean
drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and
children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of
basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding,
hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family
planning education and services.
3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a
view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international
co-operation with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the
right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account
shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the
competent authorities for the purposes of care, protection or treatment of his
or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review of the treatment provided
to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.
1. States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from
social security, including social insurance, and shall take the necessary
measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their
2. The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account
the resources and the circumstances of the child and persons having
responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well as any other
consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living
adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social
2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary
responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the
conditions of living necessary for the child's development.
3. States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their
means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible
for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material
assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition,
clothing and housing.
4. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery
of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial
responsibility for the child, both within the State Party and from abroad. In
particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the child lives
in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the
accession to international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as
well as the making of other appropriate arrangements.
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a
view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal
opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education,
including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible
to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free
education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and
accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the
reduction of drop-out rates.
2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school
discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity
and in conformity with the present Convention.
3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in
matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the
elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating
access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In
this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and
physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and
for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own
cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country
in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate,
and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in
the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship
among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to
interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct
educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set
forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the
education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as
may be laid down by the State.
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or
persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who
is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of
his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his
or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to
engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child
and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to
participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the
provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic,
recreational and leisure activity.
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from
economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be
hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the
child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
2. States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and
educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To
this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international
instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
(a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the
effective enforcement of the present article.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative,
administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the
illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the
relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the
illicit production and trafficking of such substances.
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual
exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in
particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and
States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and
multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in
children for any purpose or in any form.
States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of
exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare.
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life
imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences
committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or
arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in
conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and
for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and
respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which
takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every
child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered
in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain
contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt
access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to
challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court
or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt
decision on any such action.
1. States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of
international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are
relevant to the child.
2. States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who
have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in
3. States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not
attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among
those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not
attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavour to give
priority to those who are oldest.
4. In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law
to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take
all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected
by an armed conflict.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and
psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form
of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and
reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health,
self-respect and dignity of the child.
1. States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of,
or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner
consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which
reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of
others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of
promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role
2. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of international
instruments, States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:
(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having
infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited
by national or international law at the time they were committed;
(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has
at least the following guarantees:
(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her,
and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have
legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his
or her defence;
(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent
and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in
the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is
considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking
into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or
have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination
of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality;
(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and
any measures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent,
independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;
(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot
understand or speak the language used;
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the
3. States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws,
procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children
alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in
(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed
not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law;
(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such
children without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights
and legal safeguards are fully respected. 4. A variety of dispositions, such as
care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care;
education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to
institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in
a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their
circumstances and the offence.
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more
conducive to the realization of the rights of the child and which may be
(a) The law of a State party; or
(b) International law in force for that State.
States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the
Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children
1. For the purpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in
achieving the realization of the obligations undertaken in the present
Convention, there shall be established a Committee on the Rights of the Child,
which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
2. The Committee shall consist of eighteen experts of high moral standing and
recognized competence in the field covered by this Convention.1/ The members of the Committee shall be
elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their
personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical
distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.
3. The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list
of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person
from among its own nationals.
4. The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six
months after the date of the entry into force of the present Convention and
thereafter every second year. At least four months before the date of each
election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to
States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The
Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all
persons thus nominated, indicating States Parties which have nominated them, and
shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.
5. The elections shall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the
Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which
two thirds of States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to
the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an
absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present
6. The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years.
They shall be eligible for re-election if renominated. The term of five of the
members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years;
immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be
chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.
7. If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any
other cause he or she can no longer perform the duties of the Committee, the
State Party which nominated the member shall appoint another expert from among
its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the approval of
8. The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
9. The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.
10. The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations
Headquarters or at any other convenient place as determined by the Committee.
The Committee shall normally meet annually. The duration of the meetings of the
Committee shall be determined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a meeting of the
States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General
11. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary
staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the
Committee under the present Convention.
12. With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee
established under the present Convention shall receive emoluments from United
Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide.
1. States Parties undertake to submit to the Committee, through the
Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have
adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress
made on the enjoyment of those rights
(a) Within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State
(b) Thereafter every five years.
2. Reports made under the present article shall indicate factors and
difficulties, if any, affecting the degree of fulfilment of the obligations
under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain sufficient information
to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the
implementation of the Convention in the country concerned.
3. A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the
Committee need not, in its subsequent reports submitted in accordance with
paragraph 1 (b) of the present article, repeat basic information previously
4. The Committee may request from States Parties further information relevant
to the implementation of the Convention.
5. The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic
and Social Council, every two years, reports on its activities.
6. States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in
their own countries.
In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to
encourage international co-operation in the field covered by the Convention:
(a) The specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other
United Nations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration
of the implementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall
within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized
agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it
may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the
Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandates. The
Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's
Fund, and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the implementation of
the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b) The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the
specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent
bodies, any reports from States Parties that contain a request, or indicate a
need, for technical advice or assistance, along with the Committee's
observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications;
(c) The Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the
Secretary-General to undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating
to the rights of the child;
(d) The Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on
information received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention.
Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be transmitted to any State
Party concerned and reported to the General Assembly, together with comments, if
any, from States Parties.
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The
instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day
following the date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations
of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
2. For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit
of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall
enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit by such State of its
instrument of ratification or accession.
1. Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon
communicate the proposed amendment to States Parties, with a request that they
indicate whether they favour a conference of States Parties for the purpose of
considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months
from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties
favour such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference
under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of
States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the
General Assembly for approval.
2. An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article
shall enter into force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the
United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
3. When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States
Parties which have accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the
provisions of the present Convention and any earlier amendments which they have
1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to
all States the text of reservations made by States at the time of ratification
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present
Convention shall not be permitted.
3. Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect
addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform
all States. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is
received by the Secretary-General
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to
the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one
year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary
of the present Convention.
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese,
English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be
deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In witness thereof
the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their
respective Governments, have signed the present Convention.
1/ The General Assembly, in its
resolution 50/155 of 21 December 1995 , approved the amendment to article 43,
paragraph 2, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, replacing the word
“ten” with the word “eighteen”. The amendment entered into force on 18 November
2002 when it had been accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States parties
(128 out of 191).