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, colour, 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


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


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


Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for

improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in

the developing countries,

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