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Home Home Browse Resources Toolkits & Publications United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
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United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child


United Nations

Publication Date
November 20, 2002

February 15, 2008

Human Rights
Peace & Conflict


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The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified document in the UN's history. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, often referred to as CRC or UNCRC, is an international convention setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of children. Nations that ratify this international convention are bound by it by international law. Compliance is monitored by the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child which is composed of members from countries around the world. Once a year, the Committee submits a report to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which also hears a statement from the CRC Chair, and the Assembly adopts a Resolution on the Rights of the Child.[1]

Governments of countries that have ratified the Convention are required to report to, and appear before, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child periodically to be examined on their progress with regards to the advancement of the implementation of the Convention and the status of child rights in their country. Their reports and the committee's written views and concerns are available on the committee's website.

All member nation states (countries) of the United Nations, except the United States and Somalia,[2] have ratified it. The United Nations General Assembly agreed to adopt the Convention into international law as an advisory resolution on November 20, 1989; it came into force on September 2, 1990, after it was ratified by the required number of nations. The Convention generally defines a child as any person under the age of 18, unless an earlier age of majority is recognized by a country's law.

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