| Burden they bear
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 November 20, 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”,
Recalling the provisions of the Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally; the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile justice (The Beijing Rules); and the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict,
Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration,
Taking due account of the importance of the traditions and cultural values of each people for the protection and harmonious development of the child,
Recognizing the importance of international co-operation for improving the living conditions of children in every country, in particular in the developing countries, have agreed as follows:
For the purposes of the present convention, a child means every human being below the age of 18 years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.
Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the child is protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of the child’s parents, legal guardians, or family members.
In all actions concerning children, undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.