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- Year: 1989
- Language: English
- Document Type: International Treaty
- Topic: Defending Civil Society
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 49
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 assistance,
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 community,
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
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 status.
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 consideration.
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
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
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
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 interests.
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)
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 Convention.
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
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
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, home
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 mental health.
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 article 29;
(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
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 the State.
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 necessary;
(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 origin;
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards
equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(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 it;
(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
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
(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
(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
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 national law.
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 the child.
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 development.
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
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 appropriate means;
(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 countries.
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
(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 indigenous origin;
(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
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 employment;
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the
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 prevent:
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
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 exceptional circumstances;
(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 hostilities.
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 in society.
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
(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following
(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
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
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 particular:
(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 contained in:
(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 alike.
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 ten experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in
the field covered by this Convention. 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
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 and voting.
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 the Committee.
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 Party concerned;
(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 provided.
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 Nations.
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession
shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
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 accepted.
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 or accession.
2. A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be
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
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.