1989-2019: 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

30 years after its adoption, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most ratified UN Treaty and has played a central role to improve the lives of children around the world.

The 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a unique opportunity to put children’s rights, the Convention (along with its Optional Protocols) and its relevance for global peaceful development and co-existence high on the international agenda, to assess the status of child rights and take measures to strengthen awareness, understanding and the actual realisation of children’s rights worldwide.
It is our chance to take stock of progress until now and set in motion the further strengthening of the child rights movement in our changing global context where human rights are increasingly under threat!

Also, 2019 is the 5th Anniversary of entry into force of OPIC. This third Optional Protocol to the CRC is the first international complaints procedure giving children the possibility to claim their rights at international level. It is an important complement to the CRC to strengthen the status of children as rights holders, to ensure that children can seek redress if their rights are violated and broadening their possibility to be heard at international level. Child Rights Connect hopes for States commitments to the right of the child also translate in a wider ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure.

0
State parties have ratified the CRC
0
CRC sessions (as of July 2019)
0
State parties reports (1992-2018)
0
estimated NGOs reports (1993-2018)
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estimated children’s reports submitted (1998-2019)

OHCHR and the CRC Committee’s initiatives

The CRC Committee and OHCHR will celebrate the 30th anniversary by organizing a series of activities throughout 2019 that aim to encourage States parties to renew their commitment to the Convention by putting children’s rights at the forefront of national agendas and supporting the various initiatives of its partners.

The General Assembly Resolution on the Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Adoption of the CRC Convention has been officially adopted. It stipulates four key points:

  • A one-hour High Level Commemorative Event during the General Assembly on 25 September 2019
  • A one-day High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on 20 November 2019
  • The resolution calls for “the meaningful participation of children” at these events; and,
  • Encourages Member States “to take action and to strengthen efforts for the advancement of the rights of the child.”
30th anniversary logo which our Children’s Advisory Team worked on in collaboration with the CRC committee

30th anniversary logo of the CRC Committee and OHCHR

The CRC Committee is calling for pledges by State parties!
The CRC Committee, together with OHCHR, is calling upon States to take up serious child rights commitments and actions, to resolve urgent issues hampering the realisation of children’s rights and advance positive and concrete changes to children’s lives. Member States were invited to use the template (English, French and Spanish). The Committee will monitor and follow-up on the 30th anniversary commitments in the framework of State reporting.
The States pledges are available online as well as displayed in an exhibition at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in September 2019.

UNICEF also calls for States to sign a joint global pledge.

Child Rights Connect and the Convention: a shared story!

Our landmarks for child rights includes key milestones in relation to the UN and CRC Committee’s work, child participation and Child Rights Connect.

  • 2019

    Child-friendly CRC Convention

    Child-friendly CRC Convention

    June 1, 2019
    UNICEF-Child Rights Connect child-friendly version of the CRC Convention
  • 2019

    OPSC implementation guidelines

    OPSC implementation guidelines

    January 1, 2019
    OPSC implementation guidelines focusing on the implementation
  • 2018

    Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders & adoption of working methods for child participation

    Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders & adoption of working methods for child participation

    January 1, 2018
    Day of General Discussion on protecting and empowering children as human rights defenders with unprecedented child participation and the adoption of Working methods for the participation of children in the days of general discussion of the CRC Committee
  • 2018

    First Adopted Views on individual communication

    First Adopted Views on individual communication

    January 1, 2018
    First Adopted Views on individual communication against Denmark during the 77th Session
  • 2018

    Report on first Inquiry Procedure against Chile

    Report on first Inquiry Procedure against Chile

    January 1, 2018
    Report on first Inquiry Procedure against Chile
  • 2018

    Children’s Advisory Team for organizing the DGD

    Children’s Advisory Team for organizing the DGD

    January 1, 2018
    First collaboration of the CRC Committee with a Children’s Advisory Team to organize its DGD, composed of 21 children from all around the world
  • 2016

    Implemention of the SRP

    Implemention of the SRP

    September 10, 2016
    Committee started implementing the Simplified Reporting Procedure (SRP)
  • 2016

    First session webcasts

    First session webcasts

    January 1, 2016
    First UN live webcast of a session, during the CRC 73rd session
  • 2014

    Working methods for the participation of children in the CRC reporting process

    Working methods for the participation of children in the CRC reporting process

    January 1, 2014
    Adoption of Working methods for the participation of children in the reporting process of the Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • 2014

    First joint General Comment CRC-CEDAW

    First joint General Comment CRC-CEDAW

    January 1, 2014
    First joint General Comment in the Treaty Body System CRC-CEDAW
  • 2013

    The NGO group became Child Rights Connect

    The NGO group became Child Rights Connect

    January 1, 2013
    The NGO group became Child Rights Connect at the occasion of its 30th anniversary
  • 2013

    First examination of a State report via video

    First examination of a State report via video

    January 1, 2013
    CRC Committee was the first treaty body to conduct the examination of a State party report via video for Tuvalu, 64th session
  • 2011

    Adoption of the OPIC

    Adoption of the OPIC

    January 1, 2011
    Optional Protocol to the convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure (OPIC) which allows children to submit complaints regarding violations of their rights and provides for an inquiry procedure for grave or systematic violation of child rights. Entered into force in 2014 first ratified by the..Read More
  • 2010

    Establishment of a working group for an optional protocol on a communication procedure

    Establishment of a working group for an optional protocol on a communication procedure

    January 1, 2010
    Establishment of a working group for an optional protocol on a communication procedure by the Human Rights Council and following a proposal for a draft optional protocol from the government of Slovakia
  • 2009

    First annual day on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council

    First annual day on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council

    January 1, 2009
    First annual full-day meeting on the Rights of the Child at the Human Rights Council to discuss, negotiate and adopt a resolution about the specific theme or children’s rights in general (an Omnibus Resolution)
  • 2009

    General Comment on the right of the child to be heard

    General Comment on the right of the child to be heard

    January 1, 2009
    General Comment on the right of the child to be heard
  • 2009

    Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

    Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children

    January 1, 2009
    Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children intended to enhance the implementation of the CRC regarding the protection and wellbeing of children who are deprived of parental care or who are at risk of being so
  • 2008

    UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child

    UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child

    January 1, 2008
    UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child released after two years of field-testing. The Guidelines provided a formal mechanism to determine the best interests of the child as part of a comprehensive child protection system
  • 2008

    Special Representative on Violence against Children

    Special Representative on Violence against Children

    January 1, 2008
    Special Representative on Violence against Children established to promote the elimination of all forms of violence against children in all regions, promote and support the implementation of the recommendations of the study on violence, and identify and share good practices to prevent and respond to violence against children
  • 2007

    Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review – the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

    Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review – the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

    January 1, 2007
    Machel Study 10-Year Strategic Review – the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children reviewed the current situation faced by children in armed conflict including the impact of the changing nature of conflict, also highlighted priorities and the responses required for the next decade. A more in-depth publication, Children and Conflict..Read More
  • 2006

    UN Study on Violence against Children

    UN Study on Violence against Children

    January 1, 2006
    UN Study on Violence against Children by the appointment of the expert Mr. Paulo Pinheiro the first comprehensive global study conducted on all forms of violence against children, provided a global picture of violence against children and proposed recommendations to prevent and respond to this issue
  • 2003

    18 members in the CRC Committee

    18 members in the CRC Committee

    January 1, 2003
    First session with 18 members in the CRC Committee
  • 2002

    First children’s reports

    First children’s reports

    January 1, 2002
    First children’s reports submitted on Belgium and the United Kingdom
  • 2002

    UN General Assembly Special Session on Children

    UN General Assembly Special Session on Children

    January 1, 2002
    UN General Assembly Special Session on Children convened to review progress since the 1990 World Summit for Children. The General Assembly adopted of World Fit for Children which outlined four key priorities; promoting healthy lives, providing quality education for all, protecting children against abuse, exploitation and violence and combatting HIV/AIDS
  • 2000

    Adoption of the OPSC

    Adoption of the OPSC

    January 1, 2000
    Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC) which sets out specific acts that must be criminalized within the areas of sale of children for purposes of sexual exploitation, transfer of organs, forced labor, or adoption, as well as child prostitution and child pornography. Entered..Read More
  • 2000

    Millennium Summit and Declaration

    Millennium Summit and Declaration

    January 1, 2000
    Millennium Summit and Declaration which contained values, principles and objectives for the international agenda for the twenty-first century, and set out eight goals to be achieved by 2015 including eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education and reducing child mortality
  • 2000

    Adoption of the OPAC

    Adoption of the OPAC

    January 1, 2000
    Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) which strengthens article 38 of the CRC by raising the minimum age of direct participation in hostilities from 15 to 18 and prohibiting anyone under 18 from being compulsorily recruited into the armed forces. Entered into Force in 2002
  • 1999

    Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

    Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour

    January 1, 1999
    Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour
  • 1999

    First children’s meetings

    First children’s meetings

    January 1, 1999
    Child participation during pre-sessional working group meeting on India, one on Mali and the Netherlands
  • 1998

    First presentation to the CRC Committee by children

    First presentation to the CRC Committee by children

    January 1, 1998
    First presentation to the CRC Committee by children delivered by a group of Japanese students during an open meeting (including the media) during the lunch break
  • 1998

    Convention on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

    Convention on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor

    January 1, 1998
    Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (ILO 182) adopted by the General Conference for the International Labor Organisation, which defines which situations should be classified as the worst forms of child labor and specifies what governments must do to..Read More
  • 1997

    Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

    Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

    January 1, 1997
    Creation of the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and appointment of Mr. Olara Otunnu as the first Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, mandated to promote the protection, rights and welfare of children at every phase of conflict
  • 1997

    International Conference on Child Labor

    International Conference on Child Labor

    January 1, 1997
    International Conference on Child Labor in Oslo during which a global agenda for eliminating the worst forms of hazardous and exploitative employment of children was adopted and a global strategy for eliminating the most intolerable or extreme forms of child labor was proposed
  • 1996

    Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

    Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children

    January 1, 1996
    Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children by the appointed expert Ms. Graca Machel, which described the impact of armed conflict on children and included a number of concrete recommendations for the protection of children in armed conflict
  • 1996

    Guidelines on periodic reports

    Guidelines on periodic reports

    January 1, 1996
    Guidelines regarding the form and contents of periodic reports adopted by the CRC Committee
  • 1996

    First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

    First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

    January 1, 1996
    First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children convened in Stockholm, with the participation of a broad range of stakeholders including governments, NGOs, and children. It adopted the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action, tools for mobilizing and monitoring action to protect children from sexual exploitation
  • 1994

    First participation of children in a written submission

    First participation of children in a written submission

    January 1, 1994
    The first experience with children participating in a written submission
  • 1994

    The Committee established that NGOs may participate in the CRC pre-session

    The Committee established that NGOs may participate in the CRC pre-session

    January 1, 1994
    The Committee established that the working group may invite representatives from non-governmental organizations to attend the pre-sessional working group meeting to provide information at its 7th session
  • 1994

    UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care on Refugee Children

    UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care on Refugee Children

    January 1, 1994
    UNHCR Guidelines on Protection and Care on Refugee Children for UNHCR’s staff and partners on refugee children that combined the concept of children’s rights with UNHCR’s efforts to protect and assist refugee children
  • 1994

    First comprehensive alternative report

    First comprehensive alternative report

    January 1, 1994
    First comprehensive alternative report submitted to the CRC Committee by the national coalition the Child Rights Development Unit to inform the consideration of the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which took place in January 1995
  • 1993

    Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption

    Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption

    January 1, 1993
    Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption by the Hague Conference on Private International Law, which protects children and their families against the risks of illegal, irregular, premature or ill-prepared adoptions abroad, and reinforces Article 21 of the CRC as it seeks to ensure that..Read More
  • 1993

    World Conference on Human Rights

    World Conference on Human Rights

    January 1, 1993
    World Conference on Human Rights with unprecedented participation of governments and NGOs, and the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action for strengthening human rights work around the world. The declaration included a section on the rights of the child, which called for the universal ratification of the..Read More
  • 1993

    First participation of NGOs in pre-sessions

    First participation of NGOs in pre-sessions

    January 1, 1993
    First participation of NGOs in the pre-sessional working group meeting in order to present information on the situation of children in their country, to assist the CRC Committee to set priorities and identify key issues for discussion with the government
  • 1993

    First examination of State party reports and first concluding observations

    First examination of State party reports and first concluding observations

    January 1, 1993
    First examination by the CRC Committee of the State party reports and first concluding observations for Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Egypt, Russian Federation, Sudan, Sweden, Viet Nam
  • 1992

    First regional meeting of national child rights coalitions

    First regional meeting of national child rights coalitions

    January 1, 1992
    First regional meeting of national child rights coalitions held in Lima, Peru to strengthen the child rights movement and focused on monitoring the CRC at national level, followed by Western Europe
  • 1992

    Rio Conference

    Rio Conference

    January 1, 1992
    UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Conference) which adopted Agenda 21, a wide-ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable development, and required that children’s interests be taken into account
  • 1992

    First State Party reports and first written comments by NGOs

    First State Party reports and first written comments by NGOs

    January 1, 1992
    First State Party reports and the first written comments by NGOs submitted to the CRC Committee for Sweden and Bolivia
  • 1992

    First Day of General Discussion

    First Day of General Discussion

    January 1, 1992
    First General Day of Discussion of the CRC Committee dedicated to children in armed conflict, followed-up by a preliminary draft of an optional protocol to the Convention which would raise the age of recruitment into the armed forces to 18
  • 1991

    Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

    Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

    January 1, 1991
    Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography appointed by the Commission on Human Rights to consider matters relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, including the problem of adoption of children for commercial purposes
  • 1991

    Formation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

    Formation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child

    January 1, 1991
    First election of 10 members of the CRC Committee by States Parties, who adopted guidelines regarding the form and content of initial reports at its first session
  • 1990

    African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

    African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

    January 1, 1990
    African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child adopted by the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union), entered into force in 1999
  • 1990

    World Summit for Children

    World Summit for Children

    January 1, 1990
    World Summit for Children with 27 measurable goals set in the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children
  • 1990

    UN Rules for Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty

    UN Rules for Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty

    January 1, 1990
    UN Rules for Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty reaffirming the Beijing Rules and emphasizing that imprisonment of juveniles should be a last resort and for the shortest possible amount of time
  • 1990

    Riyadh Guidelines

    Riyadh Guidelines

    January 1, 1990
    UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines) focused on the prevention of juvenile delinquency as well as protection measures for children who are at risk
  • 1989

    Adoption of the CRC Convention

    Adoption of the CRC Convention

    November 20, 1989
    The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most comprehensive document on the rights of children, was unanimously adopted by the General Assembly and opened for signature on 20 November, recognizing for the first time children as rights holders in an international treaty. The Convention entered into force..Read More
  • 1985

    The Beijing Rules

    The Beijing Rules

    January 1, 1985
    UN Standard Minimum Rules of the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules) which set the minimum conditions for the treatment of children who are in conflict with the law and emphasize that imprisonment should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest time possible
  • 1983

    Formation of the Ad Hoc NGO Group for the drafting of the UNCRC

    Formation of the Ad Hoc NGO Group for the drafting of the UNCRC

    January 1, 1983
    Formation of the Ad Hoc NGO Group with over twenty NGOs to better influence the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Group would meet to analyze the articles of the Convention and submit changes or the inclusion of new articles to the Working Group...Read More
  • 1979

    International Year of the Child

    International Year of the Child

    January 1, 1979
    International Year of the Child to provide a framework for advocacy on behalf of children and to promote recognition that programs for children should be a fundamental part of economic and social development plans
  • 1979

    Working Group on a draft CRC Convention

    Working Group on a draft CRC Convention

    January 1, 1979
    Working Group on a draft convention on the rights of the child established by the Commission on Human Rights, open to all members of the UN, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations with consultative status, following a proposal submitted by the government of Poland
  • 1959

    Declaration of the Rights of the Child

    Declaration of the Rights of the Child

    January 1, 1959
    Declaration of the Rights of the Child

Check the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) thematic infographics!

UNICEF has also produced the timeline “Milestones in Children’s Rights”.

The former NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child – now Child Rights Connect – has extensively influenced the drafting of the Convention, its Optional Protocols, General Comments and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Working Methods, and since its adoption has successfully contributed and advocated for its proper implementation worldwide.

In 2013, the 30th anniversary of Child Rights Connect was an opportunity both to recognise the successes of the past and to propel the organisation forward to continued achievement.

Child Rights Connect steers a series of activities with the aim to:

  1. Make the CRC and its Optional Protocols more accessible to children so that they can better understand and claim their rights;
  2. Facilitate strategic and critical reflections about challenges and achievements of civil society child rights advocacy and engagement with the CRC Committee;
  3. Ensure that child participation is central to 30th anniversary celebrations to further strengthen commitments to and practice of child participation;
  4. Promote the universal ratification of the CRC and its Optional Protocols, in particular the Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure (OPIC);
  5. Strengthen the historical identity of Child Rights Connect as the driver of the drafting of the CRC and the engagement of civil society in the reporting process.

30th anniversary celebrations around the world!

Child Rights Connect will leverage the multitude of activities that its members and partners will undertake at national, regional and international level, by increasing their visibility and by strengthening their impact through connections and advice. Share any activities your organization is putting together in the context of the 30th Anniversary!

Our members activities

Other activities & events

Spread the word!

Use Twitter and Facebook to promote the universal ratification of the CRC and its Optional Protocols!

Key accounts and hashtags to follow/mention on Twitter