Adopted 26 September, 1924, League of Nations
By the present Declaration of the Rights of the Child, commonly known as “Declaration of Geneva,” men and women of all nations, recognizing that mankind owes to the Child the best that it has to give, declare and accept it as their duty that, beyond and above all considerations of race, nationality or creed:
- The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually;
- The child that is hungry must be fed; the child that is sick must be nursed; the child that is backward must be helped; the delinquent child must be reclaimed; and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succored;
- The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress;
- The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation;
- The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of fellow men.
Preamble: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and unalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world….
Article 2 “Everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, 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..”
Article 25 (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance..”
The declaration speaks of; all human beings, everyone, no one, a person, all in terms of freedoms, rights, liberty, security, protection, equality and recognition – It does not exclude the human before birth.
Preamble:“….Whereas 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…whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give…”
Preamble:”….. 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”…”
“For the purposes of the 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.”
We thought that it was especially important to remind ourselves that “the child” has held a very special place of concern in the hearts of the men and women who wrote up these amazing human rights declarations over the years. As you will note also that motherhood is a status recognized as need special protection and assistance. This week we wish to highlight the contradictory nature of our Canadian laws not only in reference to these documents but also within its own framework of Criminal, Tort and Civil Law.
Printed with permission from wewantthedebate.ca