United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Republic of Cyprus
Children deserve to be highly valued for the unique contribution they make to our society just by being children. Respect for children as a global ideal has been affirmed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989 and became legally binding on States Parties in September 1990. The Republic of Cyprus has ratified the Convention.
The Convention spells out the basic human rights to which children everywhere are entitled. These are, the right to survival; the right to the development of their full physical and mental potential; the right to protection from influences that are harmful to their development; and the right to participation in family, cultural and social life. The Convention protects these rights by setting minimum standards that governments must meet in providing healthcare, education and legal and social services to children in their countries.
The Convention defines a ‘child’ as a person, below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood as younger than 18.
The guiding principles of the Convention are:
- All children should be entitled to basic rights without discrimination;
- The best interests of the child should be the primary concern of decision-making;
- Children have the right to life, survival and development;
- The views of children must be taken into account in matters of affecting them.
The implementation of the National Children’s Strategy is a major initiative to progress the implementation of the Convention in Cyprus .In 2005, Cyprus submitted its Second Report to the UN Committee on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.