Thursday, 20 November 2014

Today is the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

On 20 November 1989 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention defines a child as “every human being below the age of eighteen years” (art.1)

An unborn child is undoubtedly a human being, a member of the species Homo sapiens.

The Convention states that:
  • “Every child has the inherent right to life” (art.6.1)
  • “State parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child” (art.6.2)
  • “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” (preamble)
lt should be noted that the CRC says “the need for such special safeguards has been…recognised in the UDHR [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]”.

The Convention has not been implemented for all children. The Convention is often unjustly reinterpreted to limit its scope just to children who have been born. lt is true that the practice of abortion is widespread and, in many countries, legal at least in some circumstances. There is, however, a mismatch between the human rights requirements of international law and the practice of individuals and nation states. Prohibitions on abortion by sovereign states are not only compatible with the requirements of international human rights instruments but are in fact the most probable interpretation of those requirements.

SPUC, and in particular its international team - Peter C. Smith, Patrick Buckley and Maria Madise - are working tirelessly, at the UN and elsewhere, to defend the rights of unborn children, especially against the constant pressure of the pro-abortion lobby to enshrine abortion as a human right.

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