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United Nations Declaration of Childrens Rights

United Nations

When the nations of the world, after the shattering experience of the first world war established the League of Nations they attempted also to establish standards nations would pledge to live by, to help build a truly peaceful and happy world. On the 26th of September 1924, the Assembly of the League of Nations adopted the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In 1939, however, the second world war began, the League became powerless and its declarations 'mere scraps of paper'. In 1946, a year after the United Nations was formed, it recommended that the Geneva Declaration be revived to 'bind the people of the world today as firmly as it did in 1924.' Two years later, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly approved the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this declaration the freedoms and rights of children were implicitly included. But it was thought that this was not enough: the special needs of children justified an additional, separate, document. In 1950 a preliminary draft of a new declaration of childrens' rights was drawn up. Two international Covenants on Human Rights were settled first, and then in 1957 the Human Rights Commission took it up. A simple, brief declaration proclaiming general principles without providing methods of enforcing them was preferred. On November the 20th, 1959 the General Assembly - with the representatives of 78 countries meeting in plenary session - adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child ... unanimously.

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