on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human
rights treaty in history.
Most member nation states (countries) of the United Nations have ratified
it, either partly or completely. The United Nations General Assembly
agreed to adopt the Convention into international law on November
20, 1989; it came into force in September 1990, after it was ratified
by the required number of nations.
According to UNICEF, the Convention has been ratified by 191 countries.
Only Somalia and the United States have not ratified the CRC. Somalia
is currently unable to proceed to ratification as it has no recognized
The Convention generally defines a child as any person under the age
of 18 years, unless an earlier age of majority is recognised by a
child has the inherent right to life,
and States shall ensure to the maximum child survival and development.
child has the right to a name and nationality from birth.
shall not be separated from their parents, except by competent authorities
for their well-being.
shall facilitate reunification of families by permitting travel
into, or out of, their territories.
have the primary responsibility for a child's upbringing, but States
shall provide them with appropriate assistance and develop child-care
shall protect children from physical or mental harm and neglect,
including sexual abuse or exploitation.
shall provide parentless children with suitable alternative care.
The adoption process shall be carefully regulated and international
agreements should be sought to provide safeguards and assure legal
validity if and when adoptive parents intend to move a child from
his or her country of birth.
children shall have the right to special treatment, education and
are entitled to the highest attainable standard of health. States
shall ensure that health care is provided to all children, placing
emphasis on preventive measures, health education and reduction
of infant mortality.
education shall be free and compulsory. Discipline in schools shall
respect the child's dignity. Education should prepare the child
for life in a spirit of understanding, peace and tolerance.
shall have time to rest and play and equal opportunities for cultural
and artistic activities.
shall protect children from economic exploitation and from work
that may interfere with their education or be harmful to their health
shall protect children from the illegal use of drugs and involvement
in drug production or trafficking.
efforts shall be made to eliminate the abduction and trafficking
punishment or life imprisonment shall not be imposed for crimes
committed before the age of 18.
in detention shall be separated from adults; they must not be tortured
or suffer cruel or degrading treatment.
child under 15 shall take any part in hostilities; children exposed
to armed conflict shall receive special protection.
of minority and indigenous populations shall freely enjoy their
own culture, religion and language.
who have suffered mistreatment, neglect or exploitation shall receive
appropriate treatment or training for recovery and rehabilitation.
involved in infringements of the penal law shall be treated in a
way that promotes their sense of dignity and worth and aims at reintegrating
them into society.
shall make the rights set out in the Convention widely known to
both adults and children.