HRC: Council adopts resolution on the rights of the child

Summary: During the 19th session of the Human Rights Council, a resolution was adopted on the rights of the child.

During the 19th session, the Council adopted without a vote, a resolution (A/HRC/19/L.31) regarding the rights of the child.

In the resolution, the Council expresses deep concern that more than 7.6 million children under the age of five die each year, mostly from preventable and treatable causes caused by lack of access to services and interventions; and calls upon States to take effective and appropriate legislative and other measures to prohibit and eliminate all forms of violence against children in all settings.

It calls upon all States to: implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other instruments; mainstream the rights of the child; protect and promote the rights of the child, and to ensure non-discrimination and protection towards: the girl child, children with disabilities, migrant children, children working and/or living on the street, refugee and internally displaced children.

The Council calls upon all States to ensure children live a life free from violence, enjoy all of their human rights related to identity, family relations and birth registration, are free from poverty, enjoy their right to the highest attainable standard of health and education; do not suffer child labour, and ensure protection and the human rights of children in the administration of justice.

It Council condemns in the strongest terms all human rights violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and urges all parties to conflict to comply strictly with their obligations, end all such violations and abuses, including the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict and to seek to end impunity for perpetrators.

The Council requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Human Rights Council, at its twenty-second session, a report on the rights of the child; to request the High Commissioner to prepare a summary of the full-day meeting on the rights of the child before the twenty-first session of the Human Rights Council; and to focus its next full-day meeting on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health.

UN Member States

Uruguay, introducing draft resolution L.31 on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean Group, said there were a total of 88 co-sponsors of the text. This omnibus resolution on the protection of the rights of the child focused on the particular challenges that children faced including discrimination, registration, forms of alternative care, the rights to education, health and food, the right to a life without violence and the sexual exploitation of minors. The text paid particular attention to children and the administrative of justice and highlighted the need to prohibit both life and death sentences for juveniles.

United States, speaking in a general comment, was pleased to join the consensus on the resolution. This resolution highlighted the important issue of the protection of children in almost every aspect of life and called on States to ensure that children were protected in all situations. Regarding abducted children, the United States believed it was in the child's best interests to return the child to his or her country of residence before abduction. The resolution did not imply that States had to join treaties to which they were not originally a party.

Saudi Arabia, speaking in a general comment on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, supported the draft resolution. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation believed the family was the fundamental element of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and such had the responsibility for the protection of children. Based on this belief, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation joined consensus while regretting that no mention of the family was in the text.

pdf: http://www.crin.org/docs/Resolution_31.doc

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