1995/79. Rights of the child

The Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling its resolutions 1994/90, 1994/91, 1994/92, 1994/93 and 1994/94 of 9 March 1994 and General Assembly resolutions 49/209, 49/210, 49/211 and 49/212 of 23 December 1994 and 49/215 also of 23 December 1994,

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, economic and sexual exploitation, illiteracy, hunger, intolerance and disability, and convinced that urgent and effective national and international action is called for,

Deeply concerned at the persistence of the practices of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the exploitation of child labour in many parts of the world, as well as at continuing reports of street children being involved in and affected by serious crime, drug abuse, violence and prostitution,

Concerned at the existence of a local and international market for child prostitution, child pornography and fraudulent adoption, which allows violations of the rights of the child and violence to be committed against children,


Profoundly concerned at any killing of and violence against street children, which threaten the most fundamental right of all, the right to life,

Reaffirming that this right is to be protected also in times of armed conflict, when children's lives and physical integrity are particularly threatened,

Deeply worried by the continued practice of enlisting children in armed forces, in contravention of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

Noting with distress that children are often among the main victims of weapons which strike long after conflicts have ended, especially anti-personnel mines,

Aware of the need to ensure the physical and psychological rehabilitation, as well as the social reintegration, of children victims of any form of neglect, exploitation or abuse, torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or armed conflicts,

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, together with urgent national and international action, can make a positive contribution in protecting the rights of children and ensuring their well-being,

Seriously concerned at those reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which are contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise contrary to international treaty law,

Encouraged by the widespread commitment and political will shown by the unprecedented number of States that have to date become signatories and parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and by its almost universal nature,

Reaffirming the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (A/CONF.157/23), in which the World Conference on Human Rights urged all States, with the support of international cooperation, to address the acute problem of children in especially difficult circumstances, and the World Summit for Children, which adopted a world declaration and a plan of action,

Recalling the adoption by the Commission of the Programme of Action for the Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, in its resolution 1992/74 of 5 March 1992, as well as the Programme of Action for the Elimination of the Exploitation of Child Labour, in its resolution 1993/79 of 10 March 1993,

Having considered the report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session (A/49/478),

Taking note of the respective reports of the two open-ended working groups for the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflicts (E/CN.4/1995/96) and guidelines for a possible draft optional protocol to the Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as the basic measures needed for their prevention and eradication (E/CN.4/1995/95),

Mindful of the important role of the United Nations and of the United Nations Children's Fund and its national committees in assisting Governments to promote the well-being of children and their development,

Welcoming the convening of the First World Congress on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, to be held in Stockholm from 26 to 31 August 1996,

Noting with interest the commitment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to strengthening the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

Affirming the important role of the media in sensitizing and informing people of the gravity and dangers that follow from the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography,

I

Extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale
of children, child prostitution and child pornography

1. Decides to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography for a further period of three years;

2. Welcomes the efforts of the Special Rapporteur to find effective ways to solve the problems of the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, notes his recommendations in this regard, and requests the Special Rapporteur, within the framework of the mandate, to continue to pay particular attention to these areas;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Special Rapporteur with all necessary human and financial assistance from within existing resources, to make the full discharge of the mandate possible and to enable the Rapporteur to submit an interim report to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session and a report to the Commission at its fifty-second session;

4. Appeals to all Governments to cooperate with and assist the Special Rapporteur and to furnish all information requested, including by inviting the Special Rapporteur to undertake country visits;

5. Invites the Special Rapporteur to continue to cooperate closely with the Committee on the Rights of the Child and with the Subcommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities and its Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, as well as with other competent United Nations bodies in the field of human rights and those dealing with questions covered by the mandate, including the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the Secretariat and the International Criminal Police Organization, and to this effect invites the Special Rapporteur to participate at the next sessions of those bodies;

II

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and its implementation

6. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (E/CN.4/1995/97);

7. Urges all States that have not done so to sign and ratify or accede to the Convention as a matter of priority, with a view to reaching universal adherence;

8. Reaffirms that all Member States have a duty to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments, and in this regard recalls the responsibility of States parties to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

9. Urges States parties to the Convention that have made reservations to review the compatibility of their reservations with article 51 of the Convention and other relevant rules of international law, with a view to considering the withdrawal of those reservations which are contrary to article 51 of the Convention or otherwise contrary to international treaty law;

10. Takes note of the consideration by the Committee on the Rights of the Child of the reservations and declarations entered by States parties;

11. Calls upon States parties to cooperate closely with the Committee on the Rights of the Child and to comply in a timely manner with their reporting obligations under the Convention, in accordance with the guidelines elaborated for that purpose;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure the provision of appropriate staff and facilities, from within existing financial resources,
for the effective and expeditious performance of the functions of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in the light of its increasingly heavy workload;

13. Recommends that within their mandates, special rapporteurs, special representatives and working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and the Subcommission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, as well as the Committee on the Rights of the Child, pay special attention to particular situations in which children are in danger, including the plight of street children, children in armed conflicts and children who are victims of sale, child prostitution and child pornography;

14. Welcomes the progress made in the working group on a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts;

15. Requests the Secretary-General to transmit the report of the working group for the elaboration of a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflicts to Governments, relevant specialized agencies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the expert appointed to undertake the study on the impact of armed conflicts on children, and to invite their comments thereon in time for circulation prior to the next session of the working group;

16. Requests the working group on a draft optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflicts to meet for a period of two weeks prior to the fifty-second session of the Commission to pursue its mandate;

17. Invites the Committee on the Rights of the Child to offer comments on the draft optional protocol to the Convention on the involvement of children in armed conflicts and to be represented at future sessions of the working group;

18. Invites Member States and United Nations bodies and organs, as well as other relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to contribute to the ongoing study by the expert designated by the Secretary-General on the impact of armed conflicts on children;

19. Welcomes the establishment by the Secretary-General of a voluntary trust fund to finance information and training programmes relating to mine clearance, and the financial contributions already made to the fund, and calls upon Member States to contribute further to it;

20. Requests bodies and organs of the United Nations, within the scope of their respective mandates, and invites intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the community at large to intensify their efforts to disseminate information on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, promote understanding of it and assist Governments in its implementation;

21. Emphasizes the importance of ensuring training on the rights of the child of those who are involved in actions concerning children, in particular the judiciary and law enforcement officials, and draws the attention of interested Governments to the possibilities offered in this connection by the United Nations through the programme of advisory services in the field of human rights;

22. Recognizes the importance of strengthening international cooperation, inter alia through the adoption of bilateral and multilateral measures or the use of the United Nations programme of advisory services in the field of human rights, as a means to assist Governments in preventing and combating situations of violations of the rights of the child, including the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and to address the problem of street children;

23. Encourages the establishment of bodies and institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, which carry out activities in favour of children on the principle of the child's best interest;

24. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission at its fifty-second session a report on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child;

25. Decides to continue its consideration of the question, as a matter of priority, at its fifty-second session under the agenda item entitled "Rights of the child";

26. Recommends the following draft resolutions to the Economic and Social Council for adoption:
[For the text, see chap. I, sect. A, draft resolutions VI and VII]
61st meeting
8 March 1995
[Adopted without a vote. See chap. XXIV. E/CN.4/1995/176]


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