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Il Piccolo Museo del Lavoro e dell'Industria


Annotazioni storiche e sociali

"Da qui gli Etruschi..."





















Luciano Russo






































































































































The "Human" Rights





















The Special Rights of the


"Child" [below the Age of 18]





















The Rights of All [Other]






















































































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 Convention


Since its adoption in 1989 after more than 60 years of advocacy,

the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been

ratified more quickly and by more governments (all except Somalia

and the US) than any other human rights instrument.


This Convention is also the only international human rights treaty

that expressly gives non-governmental organisations (NGOs) a role

in monitoring its implementation (under Article 45a).


The basic premise of the Convention is that children (all human

beings below the age of 18) are born with fundamental freedoms

and the inherent rights of all human beings.


Many governments have enacted legislation, created mechanisms

and put into place a range of creative measures to ensure the

protection and realisation of the rights of those under the age of



Each government must also report back on children's rights in

their country.



Optional Protocols


Two Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the

Child exist:


The Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution

and child pornography, dated 18 January 2002 (A/RES/54/263,

dated 25 May 2000)


The Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed

conflict Adopted (A/RES/54/263, dated 25 May 2000)



Guiding principles of the Convention



Definition of the child

(Article 1)


The Convention defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18,

unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for

adulthood younger.


The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring body for

the Convention, has encouraged States to review the age of

majority if it is set below 18 and to increase the level of protection

for all children under 18.



(Article 2)


The Convention applies to all children, whatever their race,

religion or abilities;

whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come



It doesn't matter where children live, what language they speak,

what their parents do, whether they are boys or girls, what their

culture is, whether they have a disability or whether they are rich

or poor.


No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.



Best interests of the child

(Article 3)


The best interests of children must be the primary concern in

making decisions that may affect them.


All adults should do what is best for children.


When adults make decisions, they should think about how their

decisions will affect children.


This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.



Right to life, survival and development

(Article 6)


Children have the right to live.


Governments should ensure that children survive and develop


Respect for the views of the child

(Article 12)


When adults are making decisions that affect children, children

have the right to say what they think should happen and have their

opinions taken into account.


This does not mean that children can now tell their parents what

to do.


This Convention encourages adults to listen to the opinions of

children and involve them in decision-making -- not give children

authority over adults.


Article 12 does not interfere with parents' right and responsibility

to express their views on matters affecting their children.


Moreover, the Convention recognises that the level of a child's

participation in decisions must be appropriate to the child's level

of maturity.


Children's ability to form and express their opinions develops with

age and most adults will naturally give the views of teenagers

greater weight than those of a preschooler, whether in family, legal

or administrative decisions.

















































































































Committee on the Rights of the Child


The Committee on the Rights of the Child is a body of experts

monitoring the implementation of the CRC by States Parties to the



The Committee holds regular sessions per year to review States

Parties reports on progress made in fulfilling their obligations

under the Convention and its Optional Protocols.


The Committee can make suggestions and issue recommendations

to governments and the General Assembly on ways to meet the

Convention's objectives.


Information and links on the Committee's activities:



CRC sessions


The Committee meets three times a year for a period of three

weeks in January, May-June and September.


Each session, the Committee examines reports from about 10

States Parties, dicusses issues with a government delegation and

issues recommendations (called "Concluding Observations").


NGOs are invited to submit "Alternative Reports" to States Parties

reports to give a different perspective to the Committee.


All Alternative Reports are made available through the NGO Group

for the CRC and hosted on the CRIN website by session.


NGO reports can also be searched on the CRIN website by country,

session and author.


Information about past and forthcoming sessions, including State

reports and Concluding Observations can be found on the website

of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.



Days of General Discussion


Once a year, at its September session, the Committee holds a Day

of General Discussion (DGD) on a provision of the Convention on

the Rights of the Child in order to issue more detailed

recommendations to governments.


Each year, children, NGOs and experts are invited to submit

documents to inform the Committee's one-day debate with

stakeholders (UN agencies, Committee members, NGOs,

academics, lawyers, children, etc).


All submitted documents are posted on the CRIN website.


Further information on Days of General Discussion is available on

the OHCHR website.



Report to the UN General Assembly


Once a year, the Committee submits a report to the Third

Committee of the UN General Assembly, hears a statement from

the CRC Chair and the GA adopts a Resolution on the Rights of the



Read the 2006 CRC Report to the GA and the 2006 GA Resolution

on the Rights of the Child.



Regional workshops on follow up

to Concluding Observations


OHCHR, in cooperation with host governments, occasionally

organises regional and sub-regional workshops to follow up on

implementation of the Convention and other Treaty Bodies'

Concluding Observations.


CRC workshops have been held in Damascus (Syria), Bangkok

(Thailand), Doha (Qatar), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Suva (Fiji) and

San Josè (Costa Rica), and recommendations have been issued to

the regions concerned.

Information is available on

the CRIN website and the OHCHR website


General Comments


The Committee occasionally publishes its interpretation of

provisions of the Convention in the form of General Comments,

sometimes, following a Day of General Discussion debate.


Information is available on the CRIN website and the OHCHR



For regular news updates on the CRC and the activities of the

Committee, visit CRIN's CRC news page.



On this page the full text of the Declaration in

Italian, English and Swedish.
















































































































































































































"Convention on




















the Rights of the Child































































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

rits esponsibilities 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



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 United Nations 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 ten) 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


the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the

Administration of Juvenile Justice ('The Beijing


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



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

cooperation for improving the living conditions of

children in every country, in particular in the

developing countries,



Have agreed as follows:




































































































Unofficial Summary




The preamble recalls the basic principles of the

United Nations and specific provisions of certain

relevant human rights treaties and proclamations.


It reaffirms the fact that children, because of their

vulnerability, need special care and protection, and it

places special emphasis on the primary caring and

protective responsibility of the family.


It also reaffirms the need for legal and other

protection of the child before and after birth, the

importance of respect for the cultural values of the

child's community, and the vital role of international

cooperation in securing children's rights.













































































































































Substantive Provisions



Article 1


For the purposes of the present Convention, a child

means every human being below the age of 18 years

unless, under the law applicable to the child,

majority is attained earlier.






























































Unofficial Summary


Definition of a child


A child is recognized as a person under 18, unless

national laws recognize the age of majority earlier.










































































































































Article 2


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.






























































Unofficial Summary




All rights apply to all children without exception.


It is the State's obligation to protect children from

any form of discrimination and to take positive

action to promote their rights.










































































































































Article 3


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 administrative measures.


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

competent supervision.






























































Unofficial Summary


Best interests of the child


All actions concerning the child shall take full

account of his or her best interests.


The State shall provide the child with adequate care

when parents, or others charged with that

responsibility, fail to do so.










































































































































Article 4


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































































Unofficial Summary


Implementation of rights


The State must do all it can to implement the rights

contained in the Convention.










































































































































Article 5


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.






























































Unofficial Summary


Parental guidance and

the child's evolving capacities


The State must respect the rights and

responsibilities of parents and the extended family

to provide guidance for the child which is

appropriate to her or his evolving capacities.










































































































































Article 6


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.






























































Unofficial Summary


Survival and development


Every child has the inherent right to life, and the

State has an obligation to ensure the child's survival

and development.










































































































































Article 7


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 her parents.


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.






























































Unofficial Summary


Name and nationality


The child has the right to a name at birth.


The child also has the right to acquire a nationality

and, as far as possible, to know his or her parents

and be cared for by them.










































































































































Article 8


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 speedily re-establishing

his or her identity.






























































Unofficial Summary


Preservation of identity


The State has an obligation to protect, and if

necessary, re-establish basic aspects of the child's



This includes name, nationality and family ties.










































































































































Article 9


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)































































Unofficial Summary


Separation from parents


The child has a right to live with his or her parents

unless this is deemed to be incompatible with the

child's best interests.


The child also has the right to maintain contact with

both parents if separated from one or both.










































































































































Article 10


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.






























































Unofficial Summary


Family reunification


Children and their parents have the right to leave any

country and to enter their own for purposes of

reunion or the maintenance of the child-parent