United Nations

A/RES/50/153


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

15 February 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 110


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

               [on the report of the Third Committee (A/50/633)]


            50/153.     The rights of the child

      The General Assembly,

      Recalling its resolutions 49/209, 49/210, 49/211 and 49/212 of
23 December 1994,

      Recalling also the recommendation in the Vienna Declaration and
Programme of Action, adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights
on 25 June 1993, 1/ that measures be taken to achieve, by 1995,
universal ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 44/25 of 20 November
1989, and the universal signing of the World Declaration on the
Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of
Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival,
Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s adopted by the
World Summit for Children, 2/ as well as their effective
implementation,

      Recalling further Commission on Human Rights resolutions 1995/78
and 1995/79 of 8 March 1995, 3/

      Convinced that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as a
standard-setting accomplishment of the United Nations in the field of
human rights, makes a positive contribution to protecting the rights
of children and ensuring their well-being,

      Seriously concerned about those reservations to the Convention
that are contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention or
otherwise contrary to international treaty law, and recalling that the
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urges States to withdraw
such reservations,

      Reaffirming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, which
states that national and international mechanisms and programmes
should be strengthened for the defence and protection of children, in
particular the girl child, abandoned children, street children,
economically and sexually exploited children, including through child
pornography, child prostitution or sale of organs, children victims of
diseases including acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, refugee and
displaced children, children in detention, children in armed conflict
and children victims of famine, drought and other emergencies, and
also requires measures against female infanticide and harmful child
labour,

      Reaffirming also that the best interests of the child shall be a
primary consideration in all actions concerning children,

      Mindful of the important role of the United Nations and of the
United Nations Children's Fund in promoting the well-being of children
and their development,

      Noting with appreciation the important work carried out by the
United Nations, in particular the Committee on the Rights of the
Child, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the
sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the
expert designated by the Secretary-General to undertake the study on
the effect of armed conflicts on children,

      Recognizing also the valuable work done by relevant
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations for the promotion
and protection of the rights of the child,

      Reaffirming that the rights of children require special
protection and call for continuous improvement of the situation of
children all over the world, as well as for their development and
education in conditions of peace and security,

      Profoundly concerned about the continuing deterioration in the
situation of children in many parts of the world as a result of armed
conflicts, and convinced that immediate action is called for,

      Convinced that children affected by armed conflicts require the
special protection of the international community and that there is a
need for all States to work towards the alleviation of their plight,

      Profoundly concerned that the situation of children in many parts
of the world remains critical as a result of inadequate social and
economic conditions, natural disasters, armed conflicts, exploitation,
intolerance, unemployment, rural-to-urban migration, illiteracy,
hunger and disability, and convinced that urgent and effective
national and international action is called for,

      Deeply concerned by the persistence of the practice of the use of
children for prostitution, sexual abuse and other activities, which
may also often constitute exploitation of child labour,

      Recognizing the existence of a market which encourages the
increase of such criminal practices against children,

      Concerned by the exploitation of child labour and by the fact
that it prevents a large number of children from an early age,
especially in poverty stricken areas, from receiving basic education
and may unduly imperil their health and even their lives,

      Alarmed, in particular, by the exploitation of child labour in
its most extreme forms, including forced labour, bonded labour and
other forms of slavery,

      Encouraged by measures taken by Governments to eradicate the
exploitation of child labour,

      Determined to safeguard children's right to life, and recognizing
the duty and responsibility of Governments to investigate all cases of
offences against children, including killing and violence, and to
punish offenders,

      Deeply concerned about the growing number of street children
world wide and the squalid conditions in which these children are
often forced to live,

      Welcoming the efforts made by some Governments to take effective
action to address the question of street children,

      Recognizing that legislation per se is not enough to prevent
violations of human rights and that Governments should implement their
laws and complement legislative measures with effective action, inter
alia, in the fields of law enforcement and in the administration of
justice, and in social, educational and public health programmes,

                                       I

                    Implementation of the Convention on the
                              Rights of the Child

      1.    Welcomes the unprecedented number of one hundred and eighty-
one States which have ratified or acceded to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child as a universal commitment to the rights of the
child;

      2.    Urges all States which have not yet done so to sign and
ratify or accede to the Convention as a matter of priority, with a
view to reaching universal adherence by the end of 1995;

      3.    Emphasizes the importance of the full implementation by
States parties of the provisions of the Convention;

      4.    Urges States parties to the Convention which have made
reservations to review the compatibility of their reservations with
article 51 of the Convention and other relevant rules of international
law, with the aim of withdrawing them;

      5.    Calls upon States parties to the Convention to ensure that
the education of the child shall be carried out in accordance with
article 29 of the Convention and that the education be directed, inter
alia, to the development of respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms, for the Charter of the United Nations and for different
cultures, and to the preparation of the child for responsible life in
a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance,
equality of the sexes and friendship among peoples, ethnic, national
and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;

      6.    Also calls upon States parties to the Convention, in
accordance with their obligation under article 42, to make the
principles and provisions of the Convention widely known to adults and
children alike;

                                      II

              Protection of children affected by armed conflicts

      7.    Calls upon States fully to respect the dispositions
contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 4/ and the
Additional Protocols thereto of 1977, 5/ as well as those in the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, which accord children affected
by armed conflicts special protection and treatment;

      8.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on
concrete measures taken to alleviate the situation of children in
armed conflict; 6/

      9.    Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Committee
on the Rights of the Child on its eighth session 7/ and the
recommendations contained therein concerning the situation of children
affected by armed conflict;

      10.   Expresses its support for the work of the expert designated
by the Secretary-General to undertake a comprehensive study of the
situation of children affected by armed conflicts, with the mandate
established by the General Assembly in its resolution 48/157 of 20
December 1993;

      11.   Urgently requests that appropriate measures be taken by
Member States and United Nations agencies, within the scope of their
respective mandates, to facilitate the extension of humanitarian
assistance and relief and humanitarian access to children in
situations of armed conflict and in the immediate aftermath of such
conflict;

      12.   Invites the open-ended inter-sessional working group of the
Commisssion on Human Rights on the elaboration of a draft optional
protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child related to the
involvement of children in armed conflicts to pursue its mandate;

                                      III

           International measures for the prevention and eradication
           of the sale of children, child prostitution and child
                                  pornography

      13.   Welcomes the provisional report of the Special Rapporteur of
the Commission on Human Rights on the sale of children, child
prostitution and child pornography; 8/

      14.   Expresses its support for the work of the Special Rapporteur
appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to examine, all over the
world, the question of the sale of children, child prostitution and
child pornography;

      15.   Takes note of the establishment by the Economic and Social
Council in its resolution 1994/9 of 22 July 1994 of an open-ended
inter-sessional working group of the Commission on Human Rights
responsible for elaborating, as a matter of priority and in close
cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and the Committee on the
Rights of the Child, guidelines for a possible draft optional protocol
to the Convention on the Rights of the Child related to the sale of
children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the
basic measures needed for the prevention and eradication of those
abnormal practices;

      16.   Requests that all States support efforts in the context of
the United Nations system aimed at adopting efficient international
measures for the prevention and eradication of all those practices and
consider contributing to the drafting of an optional protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child;

      17.   Welcomes the convening of the first world congress on the
commercial sexual exploitation of children, to be held at Stockholm
from 26 to 31 August 1996;

                                      IV

                  Elimination of exploitation of child labour

      18.   Encourages Member States which have not yet done so to
ratify the conventions of the International Labour Organization
relating to the elimination of exploitation of child labour, in
particular those concerning the minimum age for employment, the
abolition of forced labour and the prohibition of particularly
hazardous work for children, and to implement them;

      19.   Calls upon Governments to take legislative, administrative,
social and educational measures to ensure the protection of children
from economic exploitation, in particular the protection 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;

      20.   Urges Governments to take all necessary measures to
eliminate all extreme forms of child labour, such as forced labour,
bonded labour and other forms of slavery;


      21.   Requests that measures be taken by Governments, at the
national and international levels, within the framework of
multisectoral approaches, to end exploitation of child labour in line
with the commitments undertaken at the World Summit for Social
Development, held at Copenhagen in March 1995, 9/ and the Fourth World
Conference on Women, held at Beijing in September 1995,10/ and taking
into account the results of other relevant United Nations conferences;

      22.   Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the
International Labour Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund
and other relevant actors, to report on current initiatives and programmes
of the United Nations and its affiliated agencies which address the
exploitation of child labour and on how to improve cooperation at the
national and international levels in this field;

                                       V

                         The plight of street children

      23.   Expresses grave concern at the continued growth in the
number of cases world wide and at reports of street children being
involved in and affected by serious crime, drug abuse, violence and
prostitution;

      24.   Urges Governments to continue actively to seek comprehensive
solutions to tackle the problems of street children and to take
measures to restore their full participation in society and to
provide, inter alia, adequate nutrition, shelter, health care and
education;

      25.   Strongly urges all Governments to guarantee the respect for
all human rights and fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to
life, and to take urgent measures to prevent the killing of street
children and to combat torture and violence against them;

      26.   Emphasizes that strict compliance with the provisions of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant human rights
instruments constitutes a significant step towards solving the
problems of street children, and recommends that the Committee on the
Rights of the Child and other relevant treaty-monitoring bodies give
attention to this growing problem when examining reports from States
parties;

      27.   Calls upon the international community to support, through
effective international cooperation, the efforts of States to improve
the situation of street children, and encourages States parties to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, in preparing their reports to
the Committee on the Rights of the Child, to bear this problem in mind
and to consider requesting technical advice and assistance for
initiatives aimed at improving the situation of street children, in
accordance with article 45 of the Convention;

                                      VI

      28.   Invites Governments, United Nations bodies and
organizations, including the United Nations Children's Fund and
relevant mechanisms of the Commission on Human Rights, and
intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to cooperate to
ensure greater awareness and more effective action to solve the
problem of children living in exceptionally difficult conditions by,
among other measures, initiating and supporting development projects
which can have a positive impact on the situation of those children;

      29.   Requests the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human
Rights on the sale of children, child prostitution and child
pornography to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-first session;

      30.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on the
rights of the child to the General Assembly at its fifty-first
session, containing information on the status of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child; the findings of the expert designated by the
Secretary-General to undertake the study on the effect of armed
conflicts on children; and the problems of exploitation of child
labour, its causes and consequences, in accordance with paragraph 22
above;

      31.   Decides to continue its consideration of this question at
its fifty-first session under the item entitled "The rights of the
child".


                                                          97th plenary meeting
                                                              21 December 1995


                              Notes

     1/    A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

      2/    See A/45/625, annex.

      3/    See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council,
1995, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/1995/23 and Corr.1 and 2).

      4/    United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, Nos. 970 to 973.

      5/    Ibid., vol. 1125, Nos. 17512 and 17513.

      6/    A/50/672.

      7/    Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth Session,
Supplement No. 41 (A/50/41).

      8/    A/50/456.

      9/    See A/CONF.166/9.

      10/   See A/CONF.177/20 and Add.1.

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