The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child  - Overview

About the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified of all the United Nations Human Rights treaties. The treaty affirms and describes the fundamental human rights of all children (all human beings below the age of 18), and the governments that have ratified it have legally agreed to fulfill its provisions. The CRC forms the most comprehensive and well-established international standard for children's rights and provides the framework for the actions of UNICEF, the UN children's agency.

Children's rights are also protected under the other UN human rights instruments, which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, International Labour Organization Conventions and numerous other documents.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is the body that monitors how well States are meeting their obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. When a country ratifies the Convention, it assumes a legal obligation to implement the rights recognized in the treaty. But signing up is only the first step, because recognition of rights on paper is not sufficient to guarantee that they will be enjoyed in practice. So the country incurs an additional obligation to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented. This system of human rights monitoring is common to all UN human rights treaties.

193 States parties that have ratified the Convention as of November, 2007. Canada signed the Convention on May 28th, 1990 and ratified the Convention on December 13th, 1991.

To meet their reporting obligation, States must report initially two years after joining and then every five years. In addition to the government report, the Committee receives information on a country's human rights situation from other sources, including non-governmental organizations, UN agencies, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions and the press. In the light of all the information available, the Committee examines the report together with government representatives. Based on this dialogue, the Committee publishes its concerns and recommendations, referred to as concluding observations.

The Committee also publishes its interpretation of the content of human rights provisions, known as General Comments, and General Recommendations on thematic issues or its methods of work. It also holds public discussions, or Days of General Discussion, on particular issues such as "Violence against children".

Computer printable copy of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

Computer printer prepared version in PDF format

PDF Click here    PDF cliquez ici

The U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959)

The U.N. Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) is the predecessor of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)    Read More ..

Canada's Declarations and Reservations about the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child

Countries have made declarations or reservations about certain parts of the Convention.  Read More ..

A World Fit for Children

A World Fit for Children is the plan of action and declaration that was adopted at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children. It outlines an international series of goals, strategies and actions for children including under the areas of promoting healthy lives; providing quality education; protection from abuse, exploitation and violence; and combating HIV/AIDS. 

Canada's Reports to the United Nation's Committee on the Rights of the Child

The periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child by the governments of Canada and NGOs are on the left menus in grey.

Canada's National Plan of Action: A Canada Fit for Children (2004)

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U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child - Canada denies Birthright


Senator Landon Pearson's "National Plan of Action: A Canada Fit for Children" Seriously Flawed

Exclusive to the Canadian Children's Rights Council, by Ron Murdock, Canadian citizen living in The Netherlands, September 27th, 2004   Read More ..


By Richard Volpe, Ph.D., Professor and Director

The Dr. R.G.N. Laidlaw Research Centre
Institute of Child Study
OISE/University of Toronto Read More ..

The Globe and Mail
Canada's largest national newspaper

Report critical of way disabled children treated

Globe and Mail
November 18, 1999

Canada is systematically violating seven articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, with the most glaring failure its treatment of disabled children, according to a report being released today.    Read More ..

The Butterbox Babies Story

The Ideal Maternity Home is infamous for the Butterbox Babies.

The Ideal Maternity Home operated in East Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada from the late 1920s through at least the late 1940s. William and Lila Young operated it. William was a chiropractor and Lila was a midwife, although she advertised herself as an obstetrician.

While they were tried for various crimes involving the home, including manslaughter, the entire truth of the horrors perpetrated there was not widely known until much later.

UN Convention on The Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

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U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child -

Signed, Sealed But Not Delivered

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child popular, but hard to enforce

April 13th, 2005

The construction of a legal framework required to fully satisfy obligations under a United Nations convention to protect children will be an ongoing process in Canada, Justice Minister Irwin Cotler told the Senate Human Rights Committee on Monday.

Mr. Cotler said that each new law or regulation passed by Parliament will continue to obey the rules of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, as with all international norms. However, he stopped short of endorsing complete compliance with each one of the Convention's elements, some of which have provoked controversy since its UN approval over 15 years ago.

The position of the United States towards the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United States and Somalia are the only countries in the world that have failed to ratify the Convention. Although the United States signed the Convention on February 16, 1995, the treaty has never been submitted to the U.S. Senate and the United States has stated that it has no plans to ratify the convention.   Read More ..

A Quote Worth Remembering

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

Albert Einstein

United Nations

Canadian appointed U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights

Louise Arbour

Louise Arbour took up her duties on July 1, 2004 as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her term in office ended in June 2008.

Mrs. Arbour was a member of the Supreme Court of Canada immediately preceding her appointment to the UN as  Commissioner for Human Rights.

Law Times

Louise Arbour: a colleague we have failed

Law Times, Canada
22 September 2008

This profession - and all of us in it - have failed to protect, honour, and defend one of our most accomplished and distinguished members. We have let Louise Arbour down by our silence when she needed and deserved voices of support.

On July 1, Arbour stepped down as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, an enormously prestigious and important international position.

The gratitude and praise which greeted her at the end of her term was shamefully muted. Arbour was a courageous champion of human rights, and a bold critic of the erosion of those basic tenets in our world.

She was never timid. She was never chained to a desk, was involved, hands on, outspoken, and challenging. She breathed life into the enormous portfolio that she was asked to take on.

Why you shouldn't see VAGINA MONOLOGUES

Lesbian Pedophilia and the rape of girls

Don't attend performances.