Human Rights in International Documents and in Those of Islamic Societies / By: Mohammad Asadi
This paper tries to briefly present an account of the attempts made in the past decades and even centuries to explicate and institutionalize human rights both in the international arena and in Islamic societies. It also seeks to provide the bedrock upon which the learned readers may base a comparative study of human rights in both arenas. Also, along the same lines, a glance at the pivots around which some documents revolve, a comparative analysis of such documents, and a presentation of the documents passed by the United Nations and Islamic societies are provided by this paper in order for ease of the readers’ access.
Human Rights, Islamic Human Rights, Islamic societies, United Nations, Freedom, Equality, Law, Right, Nation.
Even though the concept of “human rights” in its modern sense was first used in France 1789 “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,” it has been picked up as a universally accepted term by other such accredited international documents as the “Charter of the United Nations,” the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” as well as in many other international economic, political, civil, cultural, and social treaties and conventions.
What came to be known as the rights of man in France 1789 declaration laid the foundation for other international documents, and went on to bring to attention other perspectives of human rights.
With regard to the significance of this declaration, some of its pivot points are pointed out in brief:
- Freedom: Men are born and remain free. No one is allowed to limit the freedoms of others in the forms of slavery or any other similar way.
- Equality: All men enjoy equal rights and are equal before the law.
- No discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, national origin, or social class.
- Sovereignty has its origins essentially in the nation, and administration of the affairs and legislation shall result from nation’s will.
- Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else.
- Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation.
- No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms prescribed by law. No one shall suffer punishment except it be legally inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
- All persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty.
- No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views.
- The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man.
- Everyone has the right to own property.
So far, there have been about thirty international documents on human rights, adopted and passed by the representatives of the world nations, which all nations, in proportion to their cultures, religious and national beliefs, have more or less agreed with and accepted. Some of these are as follows:
- The United nations Charter (parts of which deal with human rights and some of its perspectives);
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights;
- The International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights;
- The Optional Protocol to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
- The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty;
- International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination;
- The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
- The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid;
- The International Convention against Apartheid in Sports;
- The International Convention on Child Rights;
- The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women;
- The Convention on Women’s Political Rights;
- The Convention on the Nationality of Married Women;
- The Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages;
- The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
- The Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery;
- The Convention on the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.
- The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
- The International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
Despite the fact that all the above mentioned protocols, conventions, and covenants are of considerable significance in the promotion of human rights culture and its gradual institutionalization among the world nations, the writer deems it appropriate to present only the texts of those which are of the utmost and particular importance and have played key roles in making fundamental changes in this regard.
We the Peoples of the United Nations Determined;
to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
And for these Ends
to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and
to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
to ensure by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,
Have Resolved to Combine our Efforts to Accomplish these Aims:
Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.
Chapter I: Purposes and Principles
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
- To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
- To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
- To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
- To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.
The Organization and its Members, in pursuit of the Purposes stated in Article 1, shall act in accordance with the following Principles.
- The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
- All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter.
- All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
- All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
- All Members shall give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the present Charter, and shall refrain from giving assistance to any state against which the United Nations is taking preventive or enforcement action.
- The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII.
Chapter Xi: International Economic and Social Co-Operation
With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote:
- higher standards of living, full employment, and conditions of economic and social progress and development;
- solutions of international economic, social, health, and related problems; and international cultural and educational co-operation; and
- universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.
All Members pledge themselves to take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.
- The various specialized agencies, established by intergovernmental agreement and having wide international responsibilities, as defined in their basic instruments, in economic, social, cultural, educational, health, and related fields, shall be brought into relationship with the United Nations in accordance with the provisions of Article 63.
- Such agencies thus brought into relationship with the United Nations are hereinafter referred to as specialized agencies.
The Organization shall make recommendations for the coordination of the policies and activities of the specialized agencies.
The Organization shall, where appropriate, initiate negotiations among the states concerned for the creation of any new specialized agencies required for the accomplishment of the purposes set forth in Article 55.
Responsibility for the discharge of the functions of the Organization set forth in this Chapter shall be vested in the General Assembly and, under the authority of the General Assembly, in the Economic and Social Council, which shall have for this purpose the powers set forth in Chapter X.
Chapter Xi: Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories
Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and, to this end:
- to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the peoples concerned, their political, economic, social, and educational advancement, their just treatment, and their protection against abuses;
- to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and their varying stages of advancement;
- to further international peace and security;
- to promote constructive measures of development, to encourage research, and to cooperate with one another and, when and where appropriate, with specialized international bodies with a view to the practical achievement of the social, economic, and scientific purposes set forth in this Article; and
- to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General for information purposes, subject to such limitation as security and constitutional considerations may require, statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational conditions in the territories for which they are respectively responsible other than those territories to which Chapters XII and XIII apply.
Members of the United Nations also agree that their policy in respect of the territories to which this Chapter applies, no less than in respect of their metropolitan areas, must be based on the general principle of good-neighborliness, due account being taken of the interests and well-being of the rest of the world, in social, economic, and commercial matters.
Chapter Xii: International Trusteeship System
The United Nations shall establish under its authority an international trusteeship system for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by subsequent individual agreements. These territories are hereinafter referred to as trust territories.
The basic objectives of the trusteeship system, in accordance with the Purposes of the United Nations laid down in Article 1 of the present Charter, shall be:
- to further international peace and security;
- to promote the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territories, and their progressive development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned, and as may be provided by the terms of each trusteeship agreement;
- to encourage respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion, and to encourage recognition of the interdependence of the peoples of the world; and
- to ensure equal treatment in social, economic, and commercial matters for all Members of the United Nations and their nationals and also equal treatment for the latter in the administration of justice without prejudice to the attainment of the foregoing objectives and subject to the provisions of Article 80.
- The trusteeship system shall apply to such territories in the following categories as may be placed thereunder by means of trusteeship agreements:
- territories now held under mandate;
- territories which may be detached from enemy states as a result of the Second World War, and
- territories voluntarily placed under the system by states responsible for their administration.
- It will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories in the foregoing categories will be brought under the trusteeship system and upon what terms.
The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality.
The terms of trusteeship for each territory to be placed under the trusteeship system, including any alteration or amendment, shall be agreed upon by the states directly concerned, including the mandatory power in the case of territories held under mandate by a Member of the United Nations, and shall be approved as provided for in Articles 83 and 85.
- Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.
- Paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be interpreted as giving grounds for delay or postponement of the negotiation and conclusion of agreements for placing mandated and other territories under the trusteeship system as provided for in Article 77.
The trusteeship agreement shall in each case include the terms under which the trust territory will be administered and designate the authority which will exercise the administration of the trust territory. Such authority, hereinafter called the administering authority, may be one or more states or the Organization itself.
There may be designated, in any trusteeship agreement, a strategic area or areas which may include part or all of the trust territory to which the agreement applies, without prejudice to any special agreement or agreements made under Article 43.
- All functions of the United Nations relating to strategic areas, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the Security Council.
- The basic objectives set forth in Article 76 shall be applicable to the people of each strategic area.
- The Security Council shall, subject to the provisions of the trusteeship agreements and without prejudice to security considerations, avail itself of the assistance of the Trusteeship Council to perform those functions of the United Nations under the trusteeship system relating to political. economic, social, and educational matters in the strategic areas.
It shall be the duty of the administering authority to ensure that the trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security. To this end the administering authority may make use of volunteer forces, facilities, and assistance from the trust territory in carrying out the obligations towards the Security Council undertaken in this regard by the administering authority, as well as for local defense and the maintenance of law and order within the trust territory.
- The functions of the United Nations with regard to trusteeship agreements for all areas not designated as strategic, including the approval of the terms of the trusteeship agreements and of their alteration or amendment, shall be exercised by the General Assembly.
- The Trusteeship Council, operating under the authority of the General Assembly, shall assist the General Assembly in carrying out these functions.
Second Document: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
Now, Therefore The General Assembly proclaims This Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.
Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
(2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
(2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
(1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
(2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
(1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his Article 23.
(1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
(2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
(3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favorable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
(4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.
(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.
(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
(3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.
Third Document: Convention on the Rights of the Child
Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989
Entry into force 2 September 1990, in accordance with article 49
The States Parties to the present Convention,
Considering that, in accordance with the principles proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Bearing in mind that the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
Recognizing that the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenants on Human Rights, proclaimed and agreed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status,
Recalling that, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance,
Convinced that the family, as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community,
Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,
Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children,
Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, "the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth",
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally; the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules); and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict, Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration,
Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child, Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing countries,
Have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present Convention, a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
- States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child's parents, legal guardians, or family members.
- 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.
- States Parties undertake to ensure the child such protection and care as is necessary for his or her well-being, taking into account the rights and duties of his or her parents, legal guardians, or other individuals legally responsible for him or her, and, to this end, shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures.
- States Parties shall ensure that the institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care or protection of children shall conform with the standards established by competent authorities, particularly in the areas of safety, health, in the number and suitability of their staff, as well as competent supervision.
States Parties shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative, and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, States Parties shall undertake such measures to the maximum extent of their available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international co-operation.
States Parties shall respect the responsibilities, rights and duties of parents or, where applicable, the members of the extended family or community as provided for by local custom, legal guardians or other persons legally responsible for the child, to provide, in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child, appropriate direction and guidance in the exercise by the child of the rights recognized in the present Convention.
- States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
- States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
- The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
- States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
- States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference.
- Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.
- States Parties shall ensure that a child shall not be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child. Such determination may be necessary in a particular case such as one involving abuse or neglect of the child by the parents, or one where the parents are living separately and a decision must be made as to the child's place of residence.
- In any proceedings pursuant to paragraph 1 of the present article, all interested parties shall be given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings and make their views known.
- States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests.
- Where such separation results from any action initiated by a State Party, such as the detention, imprisonment, exile, deportation or death (including death arising from any cause while the person is in the custody of the State) of one or both parents or of the child, that State Party shall, upon request, provide the parents, the child or, if appropriate, another member of the family with the essential information concerning the whereabouts of the absent member(s) of the family unless the provision of the information would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall of itself entail no adverse consequences for the person(s) concerned.
- In accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family.
- A child whose parents reside in different States shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis, save in exceptional circumstances personal relations and direct contacts with both parents. Towards that end and in accordance with the obligation of States Parties under article 9, paragraph 1, States Parties shall respect the right of the child and his or her parents to leave any country, including their own, and to enter their own country. The right to leave any country shall be subject only to such restrictions as are prescribed by law and which are necessary to protect the national security, public order (order public), public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others and are consistent with the other rights recognized in the present Convention.
- States Parties shall take measures to combat the illicit transfer and non-return of children abroad.
- To this end, States Parties shall promote the conclusion of bilateral or multilateral agreements or accession to existing agreements.
- States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
- For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
- The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.
- The exercise of this right may be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; or
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals.
- States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- 2. States Parties shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
- Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
- 1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly.
- No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
- No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honor and reputation.
- The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
States Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health.
To this end, States Parties shall:
(a) Encourage the mass media to disseminate information and material of social and cultural benefit to the child and in accordance with the spirit of article 29;
(b) Encourage international co-operation in the production, exchange and dissemination of such information and material from a diversity of cultural, national and international sources;
(c) Encourage the production and dissemination of children's books;
(d) Encourage the mass media to have particular regard to the linguistic needs of the child who belongs to a minority group or who is indigenous;
(e) Encourage the development of appropriate guidelines for the protection of the child from information and material injurious to his or her well-being, bearing in mind the provisions of articles 13 and 18.
- States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
- For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
- Such protective measures should, as appropriate, include effective procedures for the establishment of social programs to provide necessary support for the child and for those who have the care of the child, as well as for other forms of prevention and for identification, reporting, referral, investigation, treatment and follow-up of instances of child maltreatment described heretofore, and, as appropriate, for judicial involvement.
- A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own best interests cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the State.
- States Parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.
- Such care could include, inter alia, foster placement, kafalah of Islamic law, adoption or if necessary placement in suitable institutions for the care of children. When considering solutions, due regard shall be paid to the desirability of continuity in a child's upbringing and to the child's ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background.
States Parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall:
(a) Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, that the adoption is permissible in view of the child's status concerning parents, relatives and legal guardians and that, if required, the persons concerned have given their informed consent to the adoption on the basis of such counseling as may be necessary;
(b) Recognize that inter-country adoption may be considered as an alternative means of child's care, if the child cannot be placed in a foster or an adoptive family or cannot in any suitable manner be cared for in the child's country of origin;
(c) Ensure that the child concerned by inter-country adoption enjoys safeguards and standards equivalent to those existing in the case of national adoption;
(d) Take all appropriate measures to ensure that, in inter-country adoption, the placement does not result in improper financial gain for those involved in it;
(e) Promote, where appropriate, the objectives of the present article by concluding bilateral or multilateral arrangements or agreements, and endeavor, within this framework, to ensure that the placement of the child in another country is carried out by competent authorities or organs.
- States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure that a child who is seeking refugee status or who is considered a refugee in accordance with applicable international or domestic law and procedures shall, whether unaccompanied or accompanied by his or her parents or by any other person, receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance in the enjoyment of applicable rights set forth in the present Convention and in other international human rights or humanitarian instruments to which the said States are Parties.
- For this purpose, States Parties shall provide, as they consider appropriate, co-operation in any efforts by the United Nations and other competent intergovernmental organizations or non-governmental organizations co-operating with the United Nations to protect and assist such a child and to trace the parents or other members of the family of any refugee child in order to obtain information necessary for reunification with his or her family. In cases where no parents or other members of the family can be found, the child shall be accorded the same protection as any other child permanently or temporarily deprived of his or her family environment for any reason , as set forth in the present Convention.
- States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.
- States Parties recognize the right of the disabled child to special care and shall encourage and ensure the extension, subject to available resources, to the eligible child and those responsible for his or her care, of assistance for which application is made and which is appropriate to the child's condition and to the circumstances of the parents or others caring for the child.
- Recognizing the special needs of a disabled child, assistance extended in accordance with paragraph 2 of the present article shall be provided free of charge, whenever possible, taking into account the financial resources of the parents or others caring for the child, and shall be designed to ensure that the disabled child has effective access to and receives education, training, health care services, rehabilitation services, preparation for employment and recreation opportunities in a manner conducive to the child's achieving the fullest possible social integration and individual development, including his or her cultural and spiritual development
- States Parties shall promote, in the spirit of international cooperation, the exchange of appropriate information in the field of preventive health care and of medical, psychological and functional treatment of disabled children, including dissemination of and access to information concerning methods of rehabilitation, education and vocational services, with the aim of enabling States Parties to improve their capabilities and skills and to widen their experience in these areas. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
- States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
- States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.
- States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.
- States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the competent authorities for the purposes of care, protection or treatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review of the treatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.
- States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their national law.
- The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources and the circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well as any other consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.
- States Parties recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for the child's physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.
- The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.
- States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means, shall take appropriate measures to assist parents and others responsible for the child to implement this right and shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programs, particularly with regard to nutrition, clothing and housing.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to secure the recovery of maintenance for the child from the parents or other persons having financial responsibility for the child, both within the State Party and from abroad. In particular, where the person having financial responsibility for the child lives in a State different from that of the child, States Parties shall promote the accession to international agreements or the conclusion of such agreements, as well as the making of other appropriate arrangements.
- States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;
(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need;
(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means;
(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;
(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.
- States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention.
- States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.
- States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
- No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origin exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.
- States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
- States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.
- States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child's education, or to be harmful to the child's health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.
- States Parties shall take legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to ensure the implementation of the present article. To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of other international instruments, States Parties shall in particular:
(a) Provide for a minimum age or minimum ages for admission to employment;
(b) Provide for appropriate regulation of the hours and conditions of employment;
(c) Provide for appropriate penalties or other sanctions to ensure the effective enforcement of the present article.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.
States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. For these purposes, States Parties shall in particular take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent:
(a) The inducement or coercion of a child to engage in any unlawful sexual activity;
(b) The exploitative use of children in prostitution or other unlawful sexual practices;
(c) The exploitative use of children in pornographic performances and materials.
States Parties shall take all appropriate national, bilateral and multilateral measures to prevent the abduction of, the sale of or traffic in children for any purpose or in any form.
States Parties shall protect the child against all other forms of exploitation prejudicial to any aspects of the child's welfare.
States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;
(b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;
(c) Every child deprived of liberty shall be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, and in a manner which takes into account the needs of persons of his or her age. In particular, every child deprived of liberty shall be separated from adults unless it is considered in the child's best interest not to do so and shall have the right to maintain contact with his or her family through correspondence and visits, save in exceptional circumstances;
(d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
- States Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law applicable to them in armed conflicts which are relevant to the child.
- States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of fifteen years do not take a direct part in hostilities.
- States Parties shall refrain from recruiting any person who has not attained the age of fifteen years into their armed forces. In recruiting among those persons who have attained the age of fifteen years but who have not attained the age of eighteen years, States Parties shall endeavor to give priority to those who are oldest.
- In accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect the civilian population in armed conflicts, States Parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure protection and care of children who are affected by an armed conflict.
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.
- States Parties recognize the right of every child alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law to be treated in a manner consistent with the promotion of the child's sense of dignity and worth, which reinforces the child's respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others and which takes into account the child's age and the desirability of promoting the child's reintegration and the child's assuming a constructive role in society.
- To this end, and having regard to the relevant provisions of international instruments, States Parties shall, in particular, ensure that:
(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they were committed;
(b) Every child alleged as or accused of having infringed the penal law has at least the following guarantees:
(i) To be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law;
(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his or her defense;
(iii) To have the matter determined without delay by a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body in a fair hearing according to law, in the presence of legal or other appropriate assistance and, unless it is considered not to be in the best interest of the child, in particular, taking into account his or her age or situation, his or her parents or legal guardians;
(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality;
(v) If considered to have infringed the penal law, to have this decision and any measures imposed in consequence thereof reviewed by a higher competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial body according to law;
(vi) To have the free assistance of an interpreter if the child cannot understand or speak the language used;
(vii) To have his or her privacy fully respected at all stages of the proceedings.
- States Parties shall seek to promote the establishment of laws, procedures, authorities and institutions specifically applicable to children alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law, and, in particular:
(a) The establishment of a minimum age below which children shall be presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law;
(b) Whenever appropriate and desirable, measures for dealing with such children without resorting to judicial proceedings, providing that human rights and legal safeguards are fully respected. 4. A variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counseling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programs and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.
Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of the child and which may be contained in:
(a) The law of a State party; or
(b) International law in force for that State.
States Parties undertake to make the principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike.
- For the purpose of examining the progress made by States Parties in achieving the realization of the obligations undertaken in the present Convention, there shall be established a Committee on the Rights of the Child, which shall carry out the functions hereinafter provided.
- The Committee shall consist of eighteen experts of high moral standing and recognized competence in the field covered by this Convention.1/ The members of the Committee shall be elected by States Parties from among their nationals and shall serve in their personal capacity, consideration being given to equitable geographical distribution, as well as to the principal legal systems.
- The members of the Committee shall be elected by secret ballot from a list of persons nominated by States Parties. Each State Party may nominate one person from among its own nationals.
- The initial election to the Committee shall be held no later than six months after the date of the entry into force of the present Convention and thereafter every second year. At least four months before the date of each election, the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall address a letter to States Parties inviting them to submit their nominations within two months. The Secretary-General shall subsequently prepare a list in alphabetical order of all persons thus nominated, indicating States Parties which have nominated them, and shall submit it to the States Parties to the present Convention.
- The elections shall be held at meetings of States Parties convened by the Secretary-General at United Nations Headquarters. At those meetings, for which two thirds of States Parties shall constitute a quorum, the persons elected to the Committee shall be those who obtain the largest number of votes and an absolute majority of the votes of the representatives of States Parties present and voting.
- The members of the Committee shall be elected for a term of four years. They shall be eligible for re-election if re-nominated. The term of five of the members elected at the first election shall expire at the end of two years; immediately after the first election, the names of these five members shall be chosen by lot by the Chairman of the meeting.
- If a member of the Committee dies or resigns or declares that for any other cause he or she can no longer perform the duties of the Committee, the State Party which nominated the member shall appoint another expert from among its nationals to serve for the remainder of the term, subject to the approval of the Committee.
- The Committee shall establish its own rules of procedure.
- The Committee shall elect its officers for a period of two years.
- The meetings of the Committee shall normally be held at United Nations Headquarters or at any other convenient place as determined by the Committee. The Committee shall normally meet annually. The duration of the meetings of the Committee shall be determined, and reviewed, if necessary, by a meeting of the States Parties to the present Convention, subject to the approval of the General Assembly.
- The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall provide the necessary staff and facilities for the effective performance of the functions of the Committee under the present Convention.
- With the approval of the General Assembly, the members of the Committee established under the present Convention shall receive emoluments from United Nations resources on such terms and conditions as the Assembly may decide.
- States Parties undertake to submit to the Committee, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, reports on the measures they have adopted which give effect to the rights recognized herein and on the progress made on the enjoyment of those rights
(a) Within two years of the entry into force of the Convention for the State Party concerned;
(b) Thereafter every five years.
- Reports made under the present article shall indicate factors and difficulties, if any, affecting the degree of fulfillment of the obligations under the present Convention. Reports shall also contain sufficient information to provide the Committee with a comprehensive understanding of the implementation of the Convention in the country concerned.
- A State Party which has submitted a comprehensive initial report to the Committee need not, in its subsequent reports submitted in accordance with paragraph 1 (b) of the present article, repeat basic information previously provided.
- The Committee may request from States Parties further information relevant to the implementation of the Convention.
- The Committee shall submit to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, every two years, reports on its activities.
- States Parties shall make their reports widely available to the public in their own countries.
In order to foster the effective implementation of the Convention and to encourage international co-operation in the field covered by the Convention:
(a) The specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs shall be entitled to be represented at the consideration of the implementation of such provisions of the present Convention as fall within the scope of their mandate. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies as it may consider appropriate to provide expert advice on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their respective mandates. The Committee may invite the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund, and other United Nations organs to submit reports on the implementation of the Convention in areas falling within the scope of their activities;
(b) The Committee shall transmit, as it may consider appropriate, to the specialized agencies, the United Nations Children's Fund and other competent bodies, any reports from States Parties that contain a request, or indicate a need, for technical advice or assistance, along with the Committee's observations and suggestions, if any, on these requests or indications;
(c) The Committee may recommend to the General Assembly to request the Secretary-General to undertake on its behalf studies on specific issues relating to the rights of the child;
(d) The Committee may make suggestions and general recommendations based on information received pursuant to articles 44 and 45 of the present Convention. Such suggestions and general recommendations shall be transmitted to any State Party concerned and reported to the General Assembly, together with comments, if any, from States Parties.
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States.
The present Convention is subject to ratification. Instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State. The instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
- The present Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession.
- For each State ratifying or acceding to the Convention after the deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification or accession.
- Any State Party may propose an amendment and file it with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Secretary-General shall thereupon communicate the proposed amendment to States Parties, with a request that they indicate whether they favor a conference of States Parties for the purpose of considering and voting upon the proposals. In the event that, within four months from the date of such communication, at least one third of the States Parties favor such a conference, the Secretary-General shall convene the conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Any amendment adopted by a majority of States Parties present and voting at the conference shall be submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
- An amendment adopted in accordance with paragraph 1 of the present article shall enter into force when it has been approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations and accepted by a two-thirds majority of States Parties.
- When an amendment enters into force, it shall be binding on those States Parties which have accepted it, other States Parties still being bound by the provisions of the present Convention and any earlier amendments which they have accepted.
- The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall receive and circulate to all States the text of reservations made by States at the time of ratification or accession.
- A reservation incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.
- Reservations may be withdrawn at any time by notification to that effect addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who shall then inform all States. Such notification shall take effect on the date on which it is received by the Secretary-General
A State Party may denounce the present Convention by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Denunciation becomes effective one year after the date of receipt of the notification by the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations is designated as the depositary of the present Convention.
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In witness thereof the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed the present Convention.
Meanwhile, Islamic societies have, by way of declarations and principles issued through the Organization of Islamic Conference, the European Islamic Council etc, approved of Islam’s particular look at human rights, some examples of which shall be presented here for comparison to the international documents on human rights and a grasp of the possible distinctions.
The Nineteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Peace, Interdependence and Development), held in Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, from 9-14 Muharram 1411H (31 July to 5 August 1990), Keenly aware of the place of mankind in Islam as vicegerent of Allah on Earth; Recognizing the importance of issuing a Document on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a guide for Member States in all aspects of life; Having examined the stages through which the preparation of this draft Document has, so far, passed and the relevant report of the Secretary General;
Having examined the Report of the Meeting of the Committee of Legal Experts held in Tehran from 26 to 28 December, 1989;
1- Agrees to issue the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam which will serve as a general guidance for Member States in the field of human rights.
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam The Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference,Reaffirming the civilizing and historical role of the Islamic Ummah which God made the best nation that has given mankind a universal and well-balanced civilization in which harmony is established between this life and the hereafter and knowledge is combined with faith; and the role that this Ummah should play to guide a humanity confused by competing trends and ideologies and to provide solutions to the chronic problems of this materialistic civilization. Wishing to contribute to the efforts of mankind to assert human rights, to protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari'ahConvinced that mankind which has reached an advanced stage in materialistic science is still, and shall remain, in dire need of faith to support its civilization and of a self motivating force to guard its rights; Believing that fundamental rights and universal freedoms in Islam are an integral part of the Islamic religion and that no one as a matter of principle has the right to suspend them in whole or in part or violate or ignore them in as much as they are binding divine commandments, which are contained in the Revealed Books of God and were sent through the last of His Prophets to complete the preceding divine messages thereby making their observance an act of worship and their neglect or violation an abominable sin, and accordingly every person is individually responsible - and the Ummah collectively responsible - for their safeguard. Proceeding from the above-mentioned principles,Declare the following:
(a) All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam. All men are equal in terms of basic human dignity and basic obligations and responsibilities, without any discrimination on the grounds of race, color, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations. True faith is the guarantee for enhancing such dignity along the path to human perfection.
(b) All human beings are God's subjects, and the most loved by Him are those who are most useful to the rest of His subjects, and no one has superiority over another except on the basis of piety and good deeds
(a) Life is a God-given gift and the right to life is guaranteed to every human being. It is the duty of individuals, societies and states to protect this right from any violation, and it is prohibited to take away life except for a Shari'ah prescribed reason.
(b) It is forbidden to resort to such means as may result in the genocidal annihilation of mankind.
(c) The preservation of human life throughout the term of time willed by God is a duty prescribed by Shari'ah
(d) Safety from bodily harm is a guaranteed right. It is the duty of the state to safeguard it, and it is prohibited to breach it without a Sharia-prescribed reason.
(a) In the event of the use of force and in case of armed conflict, it is not permissible to kill non-belligerents such as old man, women and children. The wounded and the sick shall have the right to medical treatment; and prisoners of war shall have the right to be fed, sheltered and clothed. It is prohibited to mutilate dead bodies. It is a duty to exchange prisoners of war and to arrange visits or reunions of the families separated by the circumstances of war.
(b) It is prohibited to fell trees, to damage crops or livestock, and to destroy the enemy's civilian buildings and installations by shelling, blasting or any other means.
Every human being is entitled to inviolability and the protection of his good name and honor during his life and after his death. The state and society shall protect his remains and burial place.
(a) The family is the foundation of society, and marriage is the basis of its formation. Men and women have the right to marriage, and no restrictions stemming from race, color or nationality shall prevent them from enjoying this right.
(b) Society and the State shall remove all obstacles to marriage and shall facilitate marital procedure. They shall ensure family protection and welfare.
(a) Woman is equal to man in human dignity, and has rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform; she has her own civil entity and financial independence, and the right to retain her name and lineage.
(b) The husband is responsible for the support and welfare of the family. Article 7
(a) As of the moment of birth, every child has rights due from the parents, society and the state to be accorded proper nursing, education and material, hygienic and moral care. Both the fetus and the mother must be protected and accorded special care.
(b) Parents and those in such like capacity have the right to choose the type of education they desire for their children, provided they take into consideration the interest and future of the children in accordance with ethical values and the principles of the Shari'ah
(c) Both parents are entitled to certain rights from their children, and relatives are entitled to rights from their kin, in accordance with the tenets of the Shari'ah.
Every human being has the right to enjoy his legal capacity in terms of both obligation and commitment, should this capacity be lost or impaired, he shall be represented by his guardian.
(a) The question for knowledge is an obligation and the provision of education is a duty for society and the State. The State shall ensure the availability of ways and means to acquire education and shall guarantee educational diversity in the interest of society so as to enable man to be acquainted with the religion of Islam and the facts of the Universe for the benefit of mankind.
(b) Every human being has the right to receive both religious and worldly education from the various institutions of, education and guidance, including the family, the school, the university, the media, etc., and in such an integrated and balanced manner as to develop his personality, strengthen his faith in God and promote his respect for and defense of both rights and obligations.
Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion or to atheism.
(a) Human beings are born free, and no one has the right to enslave, humiliate, oppress or exploit them, and there can be no subjugation but to God the Most-High.
(b) Colonialism of all types being one of the most evil forms of enslavement is totally prohibited. Peoples suffering from colonialism have the full right to freedom and self-determination. It is the duty of all States and peoples to support the struggle of colonized peoples for the liquidation of all forms of colonialism and occupation, and all States and peoples have the right to preserve their independent identity and exercise control over their wealth and natural resources.
Every man shall have the right, within the framework of Shari'ah, to free movement and to select his place of residence whether inside or outside his country and if persecuted, is entitled to seek asylum in another country. The country of refuge shall ensure his protection until he reaches safety, unless asylum is motivated by an act which Shari'ah regards as a crime.
Work is a right guaranteed by the State and Society for each person able to work. Everyone shall be free to choose the work that suits him best and which serves his interests and those of society. The employee shall have the right to safety and security as well as to all other social guarantees. He may neither be assigned work beyond his capacity nor be subjected to compulsion or exploited or harmed in any way. He shall be entitled - without any discrimination between males and females - to fair wages for his work without delay, as well as to the holidays allowances and promotions which he deserves. For his part, he shall be required to be dedicated and meticulous in his work. Should workers and employers disagree on any matter, the State shall intervene to settle the dispute and have the grievances redressed, the rights confirmed and justice enforced without bias.
Everyone shall have the right to legitimate gains without monopolization, deceit or harm to oneself or to others. Usury (riba) is absolutely prohibited. Article 15
(a) Everyone shall have the right to own property acquired in a legitimate way, and shall be entitled to the rights of ownership, without prejudice to oneself, others or to society in general. Expropriation is not permissible except for the requirements of public interest and upon payment of immediate and fair compensation.
(b) Confiscation and seizure of property is prohibited except for a necessity dictated by law.
Everyone shall have the right to enjoy the fruits of his scientific, literary, artistic or technical production and the right to protect the moral and material interests stemming therefrom, provided that such production is not contrary to the principles of Shari'ah.
(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in a clean environment, away from vice and moral corruption, an environment that would foster his self-development and it is incumbent upon the State and society in general to afford that right.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to medical and social care, and to all public amenities provided by society and the State within the limits of their available resources.
(c) The State shall ensure the right of the individual to a decent living which will enable him to meet all is requirements and those of his dependents, including food, clothing, housing, education , medical care and all other basic needs.
(a) Everyone shall have the right to live in security for himself, his religion, his dependents, his honor and his property.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to privacy in the conduct of his private affairs, in his home, among his family, with regard to his property and his relationships. It is not permitted to spy on him, to place him under surveillance or to besmirch his good name. The State shall protect him from arbitrary interference.
(c) A private residence is inviolable in all cases. It will not be entered without permission from its inhabitants or in any unlawful manner, nor shall it be demolished or confiscated and its dwellers evicted.
(a) All individuals are equal before the law, without distinction between the ruler and the ruled.
(b) The right to resort to justice is guaranteed to everyone.
(c) Liability is in essence personal.
(d) There shall be no crime or punishment except as provided for in the Shari'ah.
(e) A defendant is innocent until his guilt is proven in a fair trial in which he shall be given all the guarantees of defense.
It is not permitted without legitimate reason to arrest an individual, or restrict his freedom, to exile or to punish him. It is not permitted to subject him to physical or psychological torture or to any form of humiliation, cruelty or indignity. Nor is it permitted to subject an individual to medical or scientific experimentation without his consent or at the risk of his health or of his life. Nor is it permitted to promulgate emergency laws that would provide executive authority for such actions.
Taking hostages under any form or for any purpose is expressly forbidden
(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari'ah.
(b) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari'ah
(c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith.
(d) It is not permitted to arouse nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination. Article 23
(a) Authority is a trust; and abuse or malicious exploitation thereof is absolutely prohibited, so that fundamental human rights may be guaranteed. (b) Everyone shall have the right to participate, directly or indirectly in the administration of his country's public affairs. He shall also have the right to assume public office in accordance with the provisions of Shari'ah.
All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari'ah.
The Islamic Shari'ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration
The States Parties to this Covenant,
Believing that the values and principles constitute the patterns of behavior of Muslim society in such a way as to realize security, stability, development and progress for the society within the family environment, which is the cornerstone of the social edifice,
Proceeding from Islamic efforts on issues of childhood, which contributed to the development of the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child,
Cognizant of the objectives of the Organization of the Islamic Conference enshrined in its Charter and its Summit and Ministerial Conferences resolutions and of international conventions signed by its Member States;
Affirming the principles contained in the Dhaka Declaration on Human Rights in Islam adopted by the 14th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in December 1983 and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam adopted by the 14th ICFM under resolution No. 49/19-P (1990) and in the Declaration on the Rights and Care of the Child in Islam adopted by the Seventh Islamic Summit Conference under resolution No. 16/7-C (1994),
Affirming the civilizational and historic role of the Islamic Ummah and in contributing to the international efforts on human rights,
Believing that basic rights and public freedoms in Islam are an integral part thereof that no one has a prerogative to interrupt, violate, or disregard;
Aware of the enormous responsibility towards the Child in particular as the vanguard and maker of the future of the Ummah;
Seeking to enhance Islamic performance in the Child sector so as to adapt frameworks and mechanisms to face the ever-accelerating changes and transformations and their repercussions on that sector;
Realizing that the first order of serious work is to gain a conscious insight into the accumulating and expected challenges facing the Ummah, particularly the adverse effects of economic and social transformations, the waning role of the family, the weakening feeling of belonging, the breaking-down of family-ties, the decline of values and ideals, the diminishing health and educational services, the Growing
illiteracy rate, as well as the effects of the accelerating advances in sciences and fields of knowledge and the information revolution in addition to the continuing persistence of negative and old-fashioned cultural models;
Considering that children, as part of the vulnerable sector of society, bear the burden of the greater suffering as a result of natural and man-made disasters leading to tragic consequences, such as orphanage, homelessness, and exploitation of children in military, harsh, hazardous, or illegitimate labor, and considering also the suffering of refugee children and those living under the yoke of occupation or languishing or displaced as a result of armed conflicts and famines thus fostering the spread of violence among children and increasing the number of physically, mentally, and socially disabled children;
Believing that the situation requires a stand that establishes a commitment to the Rights of the Child and confirms the determination to continue the efforts to activate these rights and overcome the obstacles standing in the way of the Ummah;
Confident that the Ummah has sufficient capabilities and resources to ensure a victory over the hurdles facing it, building on the lofty religious and social values with the family enjoying pride of place on the basis of love and mercy as well as human and material resources which afford it a real opportunity for comprehensive and sustainable development;
Recognizing the Child's right to grow up within a family environment governed by established values, love, and understanding so as to enable him to exercise his rights without discrimination;
Supporting the plans, programs, and projects aimed at improving the conditions of childhood in the Islamic world, including the elaboration of national legislations or regimes ensuring the child's exercise of his full rights;
Considering that the present Covenant affirms the rights of the child in the provisions of the Islamic Shari'a , taking into account the domestic laws of states and the rights of children of minorities and non-Muslim communities, in affirmation of the human rights shared by the Muslim and non-Muslim child,
Have agreed as follows:
Definition of the Child
For the purposes of the present Covenant, a child means every human being who, according to the law applicable to him/her, has not attained maturity.
This Covenant seeks to realize the following objectives:
- To care for the family, strengthen its capabilities, and extend to it the necessary support to prevent the deterioration of its economic, social, or health conditions, and to habilitate the husband and wife to ensure their fulfillment of their role of raising children physically, psychologically, and behaviorally.
- To ensure a balanced and safe childhood and ensure the raising of generations of Muslim children who believe in their creator, adhere to their faith, are loyal to their country, committed to the principles of truth and goodness in thoughts and in deeds, and to the sense of belonging to the Islamic civilization.
- To generalize and deepen interest in the phases of childhood and adolescence and to provide full care for them so as to raise worthy generations for society.
- To provide free, compulsory primary and secondary education for all children irrespective of gender, color, nationality, religion, birth, or any other consideration, to develop education through enhancement of school curricula, training of teachers, and providing opportunities for vocational training.
- To provide opportunities for the child to discover his/her talents and to recognize his/her importance and place in the society through the family and relevant institutions, and to encourage children to participate in the cultural life of society.
- To provide the necessary care for children with special needs and for those who live in difficult conditions as well as address the causes that lead to such conditions.
- To provide all possible assistance and support for Muslim children in all parts of the world in coordination with governments or through international mechanisms.
To achieve the objectives contained in Article Two it is incumbent to:
- Respect the provisions of the Islamic Shari'a, and observe the domestic legislations of the Member States.
- Respect the objectives and principles of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
- Attach high priority to the rights, interests, protection, and development of children.
- Ensure equality in care, rights, and duties for all children.
- Observe non-interference in the internal affairs of any State.
- Observe the cultural and civilizational constants of the Islamic Ummah.
Obligations of States
States Parties to this Covenant shall observe the following:
- Respect the rights stipulated in this Covenant, and take the necessary steps to enforce it in accordance with their domestic regulations.
- Respect the responsibilities and duties of parents, legal guardians, or other persons that are legally responsible for the child in accordance with existing domestic regulations as required by the child's interest.
- End action based on customs, traditions or practices that are in conflict with the rights and duties stipulated in this Covenant.
States Parties shall guarantee equality of all children as required by law to enjoy their rights and freedoms stipulated in this Covenant regardless of sex, birth, race, religion, language, political affiliation, or any other consideration affecting the right of the child, the family, or his/her representative under the law or Shari'a.
The Right to Life
- The child shall have the right to life from when he is a fetus in his/her mother's womb or in the case of his/her mother's death; abortion should be prohibited except under necessity warranted by-the interests of the mother, the fetus, or both of them. The child shall have the right to descent, ownership, inheritance, and child support.
- States Parties to the Covenant shall guarantee the basics necessary for the survival and development of the child and for his/her protection from violence, abuse, exploitation, and deterioration of his/her living and health conditions.
- A child shall, from birth, have right to a good name, to be registered with authorities concerned, to have his nationality determined and to know his/her parents, all his/her relatives and foster mother.
- States Parties to the Covenant shall safeguard the elements of the child's identity, including his/her name, nationality, and family relations in accordance with their domestic laws and shall make every effort to resolve the issue of statelessness for any child born on their territories or to any of their citizens outside their territory.
- The child of unknown descent or who is legally assimilated to this status shall have the right to guardianship and care but without adoption. He shall have a right to a name, title and nationality.
- States Parties shall protect the family from causes of weakness and disintegration and shall work, within their available resources, to care for the family members and cause cohesion and balance among them.
- No child shall be separated from his/her parents against their will and parents shall not have their guardianship revoked save under extreme necessity, in the interest of the child and with a legal justification, in accordance with domestic procedures, and subject to judicial rules where the opportunity is provided for both the child, one or both parents, or a family member to make their views known.
- States Parties shall take into account in their social policies the child's best interests and if separation from his/her or her parents is necessary, no child shall be deprived of maintaining relations with them.
- The child shall be permitted to leave his/her state to stay with his/her parents/or with either of them in another country provided he is not separated from them in accordance with Paragraph 2 of this Article, or his/her leaving does not violate the restrictions imposed by virtue of applicable procedures in the state concerned.
- Every child capable of forming his/her own personal views, according to his/her age and maturity, shall have the right to express them freely in all matters affecting him/her either orally, in writing, or through any other lawful means in a manner not contradictory to the Sharia and ethics.
- Every child is entitled to the respect of his/her personal life. Nevertheless the parents or legal representative are entitled to exercise Islamic and humane supervision over the conduct of the child who shall not be subject to any restrictions other than those imposed in conformity with law and are necessary for the protection of public order, public security, public morals, public health, or the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Freedom of Assembly
Every child shall have the right to form and join any peaceful, civilian gathering in accordance with legal and statutory provisions in his/her society and in a way that is compatible with his/her age and does not affect his/her behavior, health or heritage.
- A sound upbringing is a right of the child and shall be the responsibility of his/her parents or legal guardian, as the case may be, and in which the institutions of the state, within their means, shall assist them.
- The upbringing of the child shall aim at the following objectives:
- i) To develop the personality, religious and moral value, and sense of
citizenship and Islamic and human solidarity of the child and to instill in him/her a spirit of understanding, dialogue, tolerance, and friendship among peoples.
- ii) To encourage the child to acquire skills and capabilities to face new situations and overcome negative customs, and to grow up grounded in scientific and objective reasoning.
Education and Culture
- Every child has a right to free compulsory basic education by learning the principles of Islamic education (as well as belief and Shari'a according to the situation) and to the provision of the necessary means to develop his/her mental, psychological and physical abilities, to allow him/her to be open to the common standards of human culture.
- States Parties to the present Covenant shall provide:
- i) Compulsory, free primary education for all children on an equal footing.
- ii) Free and compulsory secondary education on a progressive basis so that, within ten years, it is made available to all children.
iii) Higher education, while observing the capability and interest of each child, in accordance with the education system in each State.
- iv) The right of every child to wear clothes "compatible with her beliefs", while complying with Islamic Sharia, public etiquette, and modesty.
- v) Effective treatment of the problem of illiteracy, drop-outs and those who miss basic education.
- vi) Taking care of outstanding and gifted students in all stages of education.
vii) Producing and publishing children's books, setting up children's libraries, and making use of the mass media in propagating cultural, social, and artistic materials relating to children and encouraging children education.
- For the right of the child approaching puberty to receive proper sex education distinguishing between the lawful and unlawful.
- The provisions of this Article and Article 11 immediately preceding it shall not been conflict with the freedom of the Muslim child to joint private educational institutions, provided that such institutions respect the provisions of the Islamic Shari'a and that the education given in such institutions observe the rules laid down by the State.
Rest and Activity Times
- The child is entitled to times for rest and play, and to exercise legitimate activities that are suitable to his/her age during his/her free time.
2.The child is entitled to participate in cultural, artistic and social spheres.
- Parents or the one legally responsible for the child, have the right to oversee the child while exercising the activities he desires in accordance with this Article in the framework of the educational, religious and moral controls.
Social Living Standard
- Every child is entitled to custody and maintenance in order to save him/her from perishing due to his/her inability to preserve and maintain himself/ herself.
- States Parties shall recognize the right of every child to benefit from social security in accordance with their national laws.
- States parties shall be obliged to reduce the prices of services and exempt children
from tariffs and taxes.
- Every child is entitled to a living standard suitable to his/her mental,
psychological, physical and social development.
- The States Parties shall guarantee for the child mandatory measures to compel his/her parents or legal guardian under Shari'a law to offer him/her support according to their abilities.
The child is entitled to physical and psychological care. This shall be realized through:
- Providing care for the mother since the onset of pregnancy and during natural nursing either by the mother or someone else if the mother is unable to suckle the baby.
- The right of the child to mitigate some Shari'a and judicial rules in favor of his/her legitimate wet-nurse under Shari'a law, and to postpone some punishments given against her as well as lessening work assignments of a nursing and pregnant woman and reduce their working hours.
- His/her right to necessary measures to reduce infant and child mortality rates.
- A compulsory medical examination for prospective couples in order to ensure the absence or causes of hereditary or contagious diseases which portend danger for the child.
- The right of a male child to circumcision.
- Non-interference of both parents or others in medically altering the color, shape, features or sex of the fetus except for medical necessities.
- Providing preventive medical care, disease and malnutrition control, as well as providing the necessary health care for him/her and for his/her mother.
- The right of the child from the State and society to extend medical information and services for mothers in order to raise awareness and help them improve the health of their children.
- Guaranteeing the right of the child to be protected from narcotics, intoxicants and other harmful substances as well as from infectious and endemic diseases.
Disabled Children and Children with Special Needs
- A disabled child, or one with special needs, is entitled to receive a special care that guarantees his/her full rights and is commensurate with his/her case and the conditions of his/her parents or of the one responsible for him/her, as well as with available capabilities; the services should, as much as possible, be provided free of charge or with nominal fees.
- The objectives of care for a disabled child, or one with special needs are education, rehabilitation and training; providing appropriate mobility means (medical, psychological, social, educational, professional, and entertainment services); to enable him/her to be integrated into society.
States Parties shall take necessary measures to protect the child from:
- Illegal use of drugs, intoxicants and harmful substances, or participation in their production, promotion, or trafficking.
- All forms of torture or inhumane or humiliating treatment in all circumstances and conditions, or his/her smuggling, kidnapping, or trafficking in him/her.
- All forms of abuse, particularly sexual abuse.
- Cultural, ideological, information and communication invasion which contradicts the Islamic Shari'a or the national interests of states parties.
- To protect children by not involving them in armed conflicts or wars.
- No child shall exercise any risky work, or work which obstructs his/her education or which is at the expense of his/her health as well as physical or spiritual growth.
- Domestic regulations of every State shall fix a minimum working age, as well as working conditions and hours. Sanctions shall be imposed against those who contravene these regulations.
- No child shall be deprived of his/her freedom, save in accordance with the law and for a reasonable and a specific period.
- A child deprived of his/her freedom shall be treated in a way consistent with dignity, respect for human rights and basic freedoms. Needs of persons of his/her age shall be observed.
- States Parties to the Covenant shall observe the following:
(a) A child deprived of his/her freedom shall be separated from adults in special places for delinquent children.
A child shall be informed immediately and directly about the charges against him/her upon his/her summoning or apprehension, and his/her parents, guardian or lawyer shall be invited to be present with him/her.
The child shall be provided with legal and humanitarian assistance where needed including access to a lawyer and an interpreter if necessary.
Expeditious consideration of the case by a specialized juvenile court, with the possibility of the judgment being contested by a higher court, once the child is convicted.
No child shall be compelled to plead guilty or to offer testimony.
Punishment shall be considered as a means of reform and care in order to rehabilitate the child and reintegrate him/her into the society.
A minimum age under which the child may not be tried shall be determined.
(h) Respect for the child's privacy during all stages of the lawsuit shall be ensured.
Parents Responsibility and Protection from Detrimental Practices
- Parents or the one legally responsible shall be obliged to provide good education and upbringing for the child.
- Parents or the one legally responsible and States Parties to the Covenant shall protect the child from practices and traditions which are socially or culturally detrimental or harmful to the health, and from practices which have negative effects on his/her welfare, dignity or growth, as well as those leading to discrimination between children on basis of sex or other grounds in accordance with the regulations and without prejudice to Islamic Shari'a.
States Parties to this Covenant shall ensure, as much as possible, that refugee children, or those legally assimilated to this status, enjoy the rights provided for in this Covenant within their national legislation.
Article Twenty - Two
Signing, ratification and or accession to the Covenant
- The present Covenant shall be open for signature by all Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
- The present Covenant shall be open for ratification and/or accession by all Member States.
- The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
The Covenant's Entry in force
- The present Covenant shall enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit with the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference of the twentieth instrument of ratification.
- For each State acceding to this Covenant, the Covenant shall enter into force on the thirtieth day after the deposit by such State of its instrument of accession.
Implementation Mechanism of the Covenant
- States Parties to the present Covenant agree to establish an Islamic Committee on the Rights of the Child. The Committee shall be composed of the representatives of all the States Parties to the present Covenant and shall meet every two years, starting from the date of entry into force of this Covenant, at the headquarters of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to examine the progress made in the implementation of this Covenant.
- The proceedings of the meeting, for which two thirds of the States parties to the present Covenant shall constitute a quorum, shall be governed by the rules of procedure for the meeting of the conferences of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Reservation, withdrawal and Amendment
- Member States shall have the right to make reservation on some sections of this Covenant or to withdraw their reservation after notifying the Secretary General.
- Every Member State shall have the right to withdraw from this Covenant whenever they so wish. The withdrawal shall become effective on the thirtieth day following the Secretary General's receipt of the notice.
- Any state party may present a request to amend this Covenant through a written notice; the amendment will only enter into force with the approval of two-thirds of the OIC Member States.
Except for the case of the Cairo declaration, where there are a few differences to the international human rights documents, what has been issued by Islamic societies in the forms of declarations etc does not reflect a considerable difference with international documents on human rights in terms of the fundamental principles applied in different aspects of human rights. The only fundamental difference is in their attitudes toward religion. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international documents on human rights are not sensitive to any particular religion while the Cairo declaration and those of other Islamic societies hold the belief in Islam a human right the ground for which should be prepared and established such that no one shall be forced to give up Islam. However, conversion to other religions and faiths is not considered permissible. Aside from that, there is no other pivotal difference.
. Researcher and scholar of international Law issues.
 .The Official Site of The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm
. The General Assembly, in its resolution 50/155 of 21 December 1995, approved the amendment to article 43, paragraph 2, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, replacing the word “ten” with the word “eighteen”. The amendment entered into force on 18 November 2002 when it had been accepted by a two-thirds majority of the States parties (128 out of 191).