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  1. 1

    Sixth Committee acts on wide variety of legal issue: protection of children, detained persons, among them.

    UN Chronicle. 1986 Jan; 23:[4] p..

    The Sixth Committee (Legal) in November addressed a wide variety of legal issues, including those related to protection of children and detained persons, peaceful settlement of disputes, review of the United Nations Charter, and the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations. The General Assembly on 11 December acted on drafts proposed by the Committee on those issues and others. In decision 40/422, adopted without a vote, the Assembly expressed appreciation at the work done in the Third and Sixth Committees in their common endeavour of elaborating a 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. It also decided that informal consultations should be held early in the Assembly's 1986 session to achieve agreement on the remaining questions so that the draft Declaration could be adopted at that session. The item has been on the Assembly's agenda since 1980. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    Debate over extent of trafficking in Guatemalan children.

    REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MATTERS. 2000 Nov; 8(16):183.

    A UN report recently concluded that the sale of children from Guatemala was widespread and that legal adoption was the exception rather than the rule. Guatemala has become the fourth largest international provider of children for adoption after Russia, China and South Korea. In 1999, there were 1645 international adoptions, up from 731 in 1996. This article cites examples of children being forcibly taken from their parents. However, some say that the UN report exaggerates the situation and is not based on any statistical evidence. They blame sensationalism in the media for fuelling the rumors. One example of extreme consequences from this situation is given. In a small village, after the murder of a 15-year-old girl there were rumors of a satanic cult using local children as sacrifices. When a Japanese tour bus came to the village, one tourist patted a child on the head, a local woman screamed that the child was being stolen, and hysteria spread, leading to the death of the tourist and the bus driver. There are good intentions among those looking to protect vulnerable mothers from exploitation and those wanting to help find caring homes for the many children in institutions. What is lacking is actual evidence of the extent of the problem. (full text)
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  3. 3

    Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989.

    United Nations. General Assembly

    ANNUAL REVIEW OF POPULATION LAW. 1989; 16:95, 485-501.

    This document contains the text of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention opens with a preamble which notes, among other things, that children are entitled to special care and assistance, that the family is the natural environment for the nurturing of children, and that international cooperation is important for improving the living conditions of children, especially in developing countries. Part 1 of the Convention contains 41 Articles which specify the rights of children to such things as protection against discrimination; proper care and protection; survival and development; a name and nationality; a unified family; freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion, association, and peaceful assembly; access to information; adoption; having special needs met (in the case of handicapped children); health; social security; an adequate standard of living; education; rest and leisure; and protection from economic exploitation, illegal drugs, and sexual abuse. In addition, no child under the age of 15 years should serve in any armed forces. Parts 2 and 3 of the Convention deal with administrative issues such as the establishment of a Committee on the Rights of the Child as well as ratification, reservations, amendments, and denouncements of the Convention.
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  4. 4

    Children orphaned by AIDS: a call for action for NGOs and donors.

    Poonawala S; Cantor R

    Washington, D.C., National Council for International Health [NCIH], 1991 Mar 31. [3], 27 p.

    AIDs provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity to affect behavioral change, open up discussion on sexuality, and strengthen health and educational programs. This National Council for International Health policy report encourages collaborative multisectoral programs to deal with the issues of AIDs orphaned children. The contents include introductory chapters as well as chapters on the economic, public health, and social implications of AIDs in the Third World; supporting the child, family,and community; recommendations for the role of NGO's and the role of donor agencies; and conclusions. It is hoped that NGOs and donors will be mobilized to deal with a problem that will strain the already inadequate health, social and financial resources of developing countries, and thereby affecting the increasing demand for long term child care. WHO estimates of HIV infected children <5 years are 10% of 25-30 million by the year 2000. The current problem also includes children orphaned from the estimated 3 million women who will die in 1990. The economic implications are that economic productivity is reduced, low income families will be unable to provide for the additional orphaned children, and debt and low prices for exports have already reduced national budgets and reflect less social spending. The public health implication is the 1-10 US dollars/per person health spending cannot accommodate AIDs screening which alone cost 1 US dollar. AZT costs 20,000 US dollars a year/per child, or the combined annual income of 133 Mozambique farmers. A child's AIDs hospitalization in Zaire costs 4 months wages for the average workers. A funeral costs 11 months wages. In Rwanda, the doctor/patient ratio is 1:36,000. Child survival may be reversed because of reduced credibility in breastfeeding and immunization, confidence in common health remedies, and of confusion between AIDs symptoms with other treatable ailments. AIDs confronts Africans with a challenge to their cultural beliefs and marital, family, and sexual patterns. The alternatives for care are the extended family, alternative residential facilities, and adoption and foster placement. It is recommended that NGO's increase information exchange/program coordination; balance short term emergency assistance with long term sustainable solutions; give priority to maintaining a child's sense of identity and ties with family, clan, and community; involve communities in all phases of project planning, implementation, and evaluation; provide resources to empower women to make choices; and ensure the discrimination due to HIV infection does not occur. Donor agencies should encourage NGOs to pursue multisectoral solutions; increase funding and improve dispursement means for NGOs; facilitate information exchange, funding, conducting research, offering strategic guidance, and taking responsibility for program coordination; ensure the sustainability of AIDs orphan's projects; and realize the goal of improved status of women and children legally, socially, and economically.
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  5. 5

    In the child's best interest. A primer on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. New edition. Revised text.

    Castelle K

    East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Foster Parents Plan International, 1989. [6], 46 p.

    In March 1989, the United Nation's (UN) Commission on Human Rights adopted a draft Convention on the Rights of the Child. Poland submitted the original proposal to the UN in 1978. A final convention was scheduled to be set before the UN General Assembly for adoption in late 1989. To become international law, at least 20 UN member countries must ratify it. It is crucial that this convention becomes law to guarantee children around the world basic human rights that all too often are denied them. Presently no nation protects the rights of all its children or affords them adequate health care, housing, day care, and nutrition. For example, > 38,000 children die/day because they do not have access to food, shelter, or primary health care. In the United States, > 11 million children do not have health insurance and do not receive basic health care. In addition, these nations fail to protect children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. For example, poverty forces many children into prostitution in both the developed and developing countries. Further, > 100 million children worldwide work under hazardous conditions and sometimes receive no pay. Unstable political conditions, such as war, have resulted in > 10 million child refugees worldwide who often live in temporary shelters and receive insufficient food and health care. Since children are particularly vulnerable, it is the responsibility of adults to defend children's rights. The Convention defines these rights as the right to survival, the right to protection, and the right to develop in a safe environment free from discrimination.
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