Human Rights Summit
World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna 1993
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Chapter II. B. Equality, dignity and tolerance
4. The rights of the child
45. The World Conference on Human Rights reiterates the principle of "First Call
for Children" and, in this respect, underlines the importance of major national and
international efforts, especially those of the United Nations Children's Fund, for
promoting respect for the rights of the child to survival, protection, development and
46. Measures should be taken to achieve universal ratification of the Convention on the
Rights of the Child by 1995 and the universal signing of the World Declaration on the
Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action adopted by the World
Summit for Children, as well as their effective implementation. The World Conference on
Human Rights urges States to withdraw reservations to the Convention on the Rights of the
Child contrary to the object and purpose of the Convention or otherwise contrary to
international treaty law.
47. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all nations to undertake measures to the
maximum extent of their available resources, with the support of international
cooperation, to achieve the goals in the World Summit Plan of Action. The Conference calls
on States to integrate the Convention on the Rights of the Child into their national
action plans. By means of these national action plans and through international efforts,
particular priority should be placed on reducing infant and maternal mortality rates,
reducing malnutrition and illiteracy rates and providing access to safe drinking water and
to basic education. Whenever so called for, national plans of action should be devised to
combat devastating emergencies resulting from natural disasters and armed conflicts and
the equally grave problem of children in extreme poverty.
48. The World Conference on Human Rights urges all States, with the support of
international cooperation, to address the acute problem of children under especially
difficult circumstances. Exploitation and abuse of children should be actively combated,
including by addressing their root causes. Effective measures are required against female
infanticide, harmful child labour, sale of children and organs, child prostitution, child
pornography, as well as other forms of sexual abuse.
49. The World Conference on Human Rights supports all measures by the United Nations
and its specialized agencies to ensure the effective protection and promotion of human
rights of the girl child. The World Conference on Human Rights urges States to repeal
existing laws and regulations and remove customs and practices which discriminate against
and cause harm to the girl child.
50. The World Conference on Human Rights strongly supports the proposal that the
Secretary-General initiate a study into means of improving the protection of children in
armed conflicts. Humanitarian norms should be implemented and measures taken in order to
protect and facilitate assistance to children in war zones. Measures should include
protection for children against indiscriminate use of all weapons of war, especially
anti-personnel mines. The need for aftercare and rehabilitation of children traumatized by
war must be addressed urgently. The Conference calls on the Committee on the Rights of the
Child to study the question of raising the minimum age of recruitment into armed forces.
51. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that matters relating to human
rights and the situation of children be regularly reviewed and monitored by all relevant
organs and mechanisms of the United Nations system and by the supervisory bodies of the
specialized agencies in accordance with their mandates.
52. The World Conference on Human Rights recognizes the important role played by
nongovernmental organizations in the effective implementation of all human rights
instruments and, in particular, the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
53. The World Conference on Human Rights recommends that the Committee on the Rights of
the Child, with the assistance of the Centre for Human Rights, be enabled expeditiously
and effectively to meet its mandate, especially in view of the unprecedented extent of
ratification and subsequent submission of country reports.
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