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Rights of the child

All rights spelled out by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and by the two Human Rights Covenants (on Civil and Political Rights as well as on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) are the rights of every child. The same applies to all other Human Rights treaties.


The Convention on the Rights of the Child deals with the special circumstances and needs of children and now their rights must thus be protected.


The rights of the child are enshrined in Articles 23 and 24 (as well as in 14 and 18) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

Article 23
1. The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized.
3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.

Article 24
1. Every child shall have, without any discrimination as to race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth, the right to such measures of protection as are required by his status as a minor, on the part of his family, society and the State.
2. Every child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have a name.
3. Every child has the right to acquire a nationality.

In its General Comment No 24 of 1989, the Human Rights Committee comments on the rights of the child:


The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families contains references to the rights of the child in Articles 12, 17, 29, 30, 44 and 45.


Such rights are also contained in Article 18 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights:

1. The family shall be the natural unit and basis of society. It shall be protected by the State which shall take care of its physical health and moral.
2. The State shall have the duty to assist the family which is the custodian of morals and traditional values recognized by the community.
3. The State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of the woman and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions.
4. The aged and the disabled shall also have the right to special measures of protection in keeping with their physical or moral needs.

Last change: 18.12.08 - 16:03