20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

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Today marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention has become the most widely ratified treaty after the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (which have 194 States Parties). There are now 193 States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, meaning it has more parties than to the Charter of the United Nations (which has 192). Only the United States and Somalia are not party to the Convention. Two Optional Protocols additional to the Convention were adopted in 2000. One on the involvement of children in armed conflict and the other on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

In addition to specific rights the Convention lays down the basic principle that:

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

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