no political power. They do not vote and their opinions carry little
weight with governments. They are, therefore, totally dependent
on their parents or guardians to act in their best interests and
to protect their rights.
To support families
in protecting children, it was decided that there was a need for
a broader consensus of what is and is not acceptable in the treatment
of the young. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was first
proposed by the government of Poland during the International Year
of the Child (1979).
The United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United
Nations General Assembly in November 1989 and became international
law ten months later after 20 countries had ratified it.
is based on three principles:
1. That children
need special safeguards beyond those provided to adults.
2. That the
best environment for a child's survival and development is within
3. That governments
and the adult world in general should act in the best interests
play a role in helping young people learn about their rights and
help these rights to be implemented.