UNCCPR General Comment 17: Rights of the child (Article 24)

Friday, 7 April, 1989

The Comment calls attention to and clarifies the rights of children, noting that they are granted special protections that go beyond those granted to adults. Children are protected from discrimination on grounds such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, property or birth. Children also have a right to family and State protection. The Comment points to certain provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that apply greater protection to minors. For example, States Parties are under obligation to ensure that every child has a nationality and a registered name, especially those children who are born out of wedlock. While certain rights specific to children are enumerated in the Covenant (e.g., that children ought not be given the death penalty), the Comment also stresses the importance of States Parties in determining many of the particulars concerning the protection of children, especially with regard to their education, their developmental opportunities, and their protection from abusive family members. The responsibility to provide the necessary protection lies with the family, State and society.

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