UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of
the Child and strives to establish child rights as enduring ethical principles and
international standards of behavious towards children. The Convention is the human rights
treaty that came most rapidly into force. Ratified by 187 countries as of 15 April 1996,
it is close to being the first such convention to achieve universal ratification.
Among key provisions are:
Article 2 requires countries to apply the Convention to each child without discrimination
of any kind.
and development Article 6 affirms that every child has the inherent right to life, and
calls on countries to ensure children's survival and development.
of thought, conscience and religion Article 14 guarantees children the right to
freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
and neglect Article 19 requires the protection of children from all forms of violence,
injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.
and nutrition Article 24 stipulates that children have the right to the highest
standard of health care and nutrition available.
of living Article 27 calls on counties to recognize the right of every child to a
standard of living adequate for physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
labour Article 32 requires that children be protected from work that is exploitative,
hazardous or interferes with their education.
exploitation Article 34 mandates that children be protected from all forms of sexual
exploitation and abuse, particularly prostitution and pornography.
conflicts Article 38 provides that States take all feasible measures to ensure the
protection and care of children affected by armed conflict.