Development of Children's Rights in International Law During the 21st Century Cover Image

Razvoj prava deteta u međunarodnom pravu tokom XX veka
Development of Children's Rights in International Law During the 21st Century

Author(s): Uroš Novaković
Subject(s): History of Law, International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Published by: Правни факултет Универзитета у Источном Сарајеву
Keywords: Children's rights;International law;Declaration of the Rights of the Child;Convention of the Rights of the Child;
Summary/Abstract: Changes regarding the attitude toward children occurred in the social milieu during the XVIII and XIX century and culminated in legal regulation throughout the XX century. This century marks a milestone in the recognition of the children rights, and abandons contemporary models of depriving children of their rights and patriarchal models of child protection. In international law, when it comes to family, three elements are in focus: family, family environment and family life. Subject of our interest in this paper are the "Geneva Declaration", Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1924), and especially, Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1924) provides principles such as: that children need to be provided with conditions for normal physical and mental development, that hungry child has to be fed, that sick child has to be cared for, that orphans should be looked after, that child should be protected from exploitation. This Declaration for the first time emphasizes economic, psychological and social needs of the children.Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) consists of a preamble and ten principles. The fact that it was adopted without abstentions shows that this international act is more important than the other acts of the General Assembly – it has moral binding force. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) is the longest legally binding contract of the United Nations General Assembly. It is based on four principles: participation, protection, prevention and the provision (so-called four “P” rights). One of the most significant innovations of the Convention is the principle of the best interests of the child and increasing legal capacity of a child. These two principles are protective mantle for all Convention rights. Indicators in the field of children's rights after Second World War, reflected in the adoption of a number of legally binding documents related to children and children's right, show that the position of children is no longer each country’s internal matter.

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