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Inter-American Convention on Conflict of Laws

Regional Documentation

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC), the first regional treaty on children’s rights, builds on the 1979 Declaration on the Rights and Welfare of the African Child,[but most of its provisions are modeled after those of the CRC.  “The main difference lies in the existence of provisions concerning children’s duties [in article 31], in line with the African Human Rights Charter” (seebelow) The Preamble states that “the child occupies a unique and privileged position in the African society” and requires legal protection as well as “particular care with regard to health, physical, mental, moral and social development.”  A child is defined as “every human being below the age of 18 years” (article 2).  The ACRWC sets forth the principles of non-discrimination and the best interests of the child and also provides that children have an inherent right to life, protected by law. The death sentence is not to be applied to crimes committed by children (articles 3-5). Children have a right to a name and nationality as well as to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; thought, religion, and conscience; privacy; education; and rest and leisure (articles 6-12).pecial measures of protection are to be taken for handicapped children and children should enjoy physical, mental, and spiritual health (articles 13-14).  Children should also be protected against all forms of economic exploitation and from performing work likely to be hazardous (article 15) and against all forms of torture, maltreatment, and abuse (article 16); harmful social and cultural practices (article 21); all forms of sexual exploitation or abuse (article 27); the use of narcotics and illicit drugs (article 28); and abduction, sale, trafficking, and use in begging (article 29).

European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights 1996

The European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (ECECR) stresses in the Preamble the aim of promoting the rights and “best interests” of children.  To that end, it states that children should have the opportunity to exercise their rights, particularly in family proceedings affecting them; they should be provided with relevant information (defined as information appropriate to the child’s age and understanding, given to enable the child to exercise his or her rights fully, unless contrary to the welfare of the child) and their views should be given “due weight”; and, “where necessary,” States as well as parents, should engage in the protection and promotion of those rights and best interests (Preamble).  The ECECR applies to children who have not reached the age of eighteen (article 1(1)).  The ECECR procedural rights include the child’s right to be informed and to express his or her views in proceedings; the right to apply for the appointment of a special representative; and “other possible procedural rights,” e.g., the right to apply to be assisted by an appropriate person of their choice to help them express their views, the right to appoint their own representative, and the right to exercise some or all of the rights of parties to the proceedings