universal rights of children
Our criticism of the
shortcomings and the limitations of the current “Convention on
the rights of the Child”, particularly in addressing the plights
of children in the religious and poverty stricken societies have
compelled us to produce, as an alternative, our own declaration.
Our declaration aims at all children worldwide and treats them
equally regardless of their gender, family social class,
religion, nationality and ethnicity, colour and ability and
invites all concerned individuals and defenders of children’s
rights, in particular practitioners in the field of children’s
rights, to send us their comments and views on this document.
This declaration was adopted in our third conference.
On behalf of the
6 January 2005
In the context of this declaration every individuals aged less
than 18 years are considered as a child and the subject of this
Life is the most inherent right of children. Body and mind of
children are protected from any kind of violation.
Every child has the right to a happy, secure and creative
life. The welfare and happiness of every child, regardless of
the child’s family status, rests with the society. Children
should enjoy the highest possible level of welfare and means of
material and mental development.
Every child has the right to enjoy the highest level of
welfare and livelihood for a normal life compatible with the
highest prevailing standard in the society.
Every child has the right to a suitable accommodation based on
the highest prevailing standard in the society.
Every child has the right to welfare, play and recreation.
Every child has the right to enjoy good health and access to
all the medical facilities and services and to be immune from
illness and health hazards. Equal rights for all children to all
the society’s medical and health provisions.
The right to education and access to educational facilities to
develop his/her potentials.
The right to a safe and healthy environment.
to socialise and have a social life. Prohibition of segregation
of children in their social environment and the prevention of
children from association with other children.
Prohibition of abuse of children at home, school and in the
community at large.
prohibition of physical punishment, mental violation and abuse
Prohibition of physical abuse of children under the pretext of
religion, culture and tradition (circumcision, body piercing…)
prohibition of medical tests and surgical operations on children
except for prevention of diseases and direct health improvement.
Prohibition of detention and imprisonment of children.
Prohibition of capital punishment in general and in particular
prohibition of torture and obtaining confession from children.
Prohibition of professional employment of children under the age
prohibition of forcing children to work, bondage work and
enslaving children under any pretext and excuse.
legal action against sexual abuse of children. Sexual abuse of
children is deemed a grave crime.
prosecution of those who in any way and under any pretext
prevent children, both girls and boys, from exercising their
civil and social rights.
equal rights for female and male children.
equal rights for all foreign and indigenous children.
Prohibition of expulsion of children from the country.
Prohibition of geographical relocation of children without
direct reference to their independent welfare and rights,
rights for children within biological or non-biological families
or living under the care of institutions.
rights for all children born in or outside wedlock.
of every child to seek information and truth concerning all
aspects of his / her life.
of children to express their thoughts and opinion and the right
to express doubts and criticise all aspects of social life.
Prohibition of inquisition of children.
suffragette for every individual aged 16 years and over
regardless of their gender, religious inclination, ethnic,
nationality, residency and political affiliation. The right of
every individual aged 16 and over to nominate him/her to any
representative organ or for any posts and position.
unconditional rights of every individuals aged 16 years and over
to choose her/his place of residence and to travel.
Prohibition of any kinds of restriction on free movement, inside
the country, of individuals aged 16 and over, by the state or
its security authorities. Abolition of all restrictions on the
free travel abroad, unconditional issuing of passports and exit
and entry visas for all individuals aged 16 and over.
from interference in private life, communication, conversation
for all children.
of every couple over the age of 16 to live together by their own
consent. Any form of coercion of individuals, by any person or
authority, to influence the choice of partners, cohabitation (or
marriage) or in separation (or divorce) is prohibited.
relationship of adults (persons over the age of consent) with
under-age persons, even if it consensual is illegal and the
adult party is prosecuted under the law.
Prohibition of discrimination on the basis of one’s sexual
discrimination between children on the basis of their gender
attitudes and behaviours towards female and male children, even
at foetus stage, is the hallmark of the all present societies.
In the religious stricken and backward societies, discrimination
against girls are inherent in the official laws and legislations
and the common norms and cultures. Therefore to achieve equality
between girls and boys in all aspects of life it requires a
vigorous and ceaseless struggle against discrimination and
inequalities between female and male children.
imposition of heavy punishment for those restricting the
freedom of girls, inflicting harassment and violation against
girls as well as the perpetrators of violence and degradation
within the family.
concerted intervention by state departments to combat
anti-women and patriarchal attitudes and cultures. Support and
promotion of non-governmental organisations engaged in
advocating equality between women and men.
support for state and non-governmental institutions to
advocate children’ rights.
usage of titles such as “miss” and “sister” which defines
female children in relation to their male siblings, by the
state authorities as well as private corporations.
Removal of any
direct or indirect discriminatory references to women and
girls from educational books and resources. Inclusion of
educational subjects within the curriculum to educate students
on the causes of women’s suffering and promotes equality
between women and men.
special state sponsored agencies to investigate cases of
harassment and discriminations against female children.
interference by any official authority, relatives and next of
kin in interfering in private affairs, in personal, emotional
and sexual relationships of girls aged 16 and over.
imposition of domestic work or specific house keeping tasks on
Belief in a
religion is a private matter for adults. Children do not have
religion and superstitious ideas. Removing religion from
educational establishments and places of development of children
is the pre-condition for providing a safe and open environment
for their free development. Therefore the society and its
institutions are duty bound to safeguard children against
religion. To this end the following rights must, unconditionally
and without exception, be implemented for all children.
separation of state from education.
religious schools for children.
teaching religious subjects or religiously deduced subjects in
schools and educational establishments.
Inclusion of sex
education within the school curriculum.
Abolition of all
legislations and regulations that contravene the principle of
wearing religious symbols at schools.
mixed, both sexes, schools at all levels of education.
physical and mental interference of religions and religious
establishments in the lives of children under the age of 16.
recruiting children under the age of 16 to religious sects,
religious ceremonies and establishments.
wearing veil for girls under the age of 16.
genital circumcision for both girls and boys.
discrimination between children based on how they were
conceived. Usage of depredating phrases to children born
outside the wedlock such as illegitimate, lovechild or
whoreson is a direct assault on these children. Denying
children born outside the wedlock of any rights, under
religious, cultural or any other excuses, is considered as a
Annulment of all
laws preventing children, both girls and boys, from enjoying a
healthy, happy and creative social life.
children from participating in educational activities and
extra curriculum subjects is prohibited except where there is
a medical reason or the direct interest of the child requires
the end of week holidays to Saturdays and Sundays to readjust
school calendars to the western calendar.
religious holidays from school and official calendar
in the family
Family unit in the
present day societies provides a contradictory environment for
the development of children. On one hand it could provide a
secure, loving and respectful environment for the development of
children and on the other hand the confines of the family can
easily provide a rough and suppressive environment for children.
Inequality and sightlessness of parents in the society, general
violence and deprivation and the inability of the children to
defend themes elves has potentially turned family into a place
where children could be subjected to systemic mistreatments and
abuse. Therefore it is the responsibility of the society to
oversee the welfare of the children within the family and
provide the necessary means and resources to offer adequate
protection to them. Further to the above provisions, the
following measures and provisions must be implemented.
Abolition of the
privileges of the man as the “head of the family” and the
extension of equal rights and responsibilities over the care
and development of children, control and management of the
family resources and wealth, inheritance, decision over place
of residence, domestic work and professional employment,
divorce, custody of children and share of the family resources
in the event of separation.
imposition of domestic work or specific house keeping tasks to
girls in the family,
imposing supervisory duties to boys in the family.
heavy sentences to anyone inflicting any kinds of violence,
including denial of freedom, degradation, physical and mental
violence, against boys or girls within the family.
Abolition of the
automatic extension of the male parent’s surname to children.
Children’s surname should be decided jointly by both parents.
Failing to decide the mother’s surname will be given to the
reference to parents’ names in the official identification
documents e.g. Passport, driving licence.
state legal, material and moral support for single parents.
Active support to combat financial pressures and backward and
reactionary attitudes aimed at separated mothers and those who
have children outside the wedlock.
Full equal rights
and responsibilities for mothers and fathers over the custody
and issues concerning the care of children after separation.
children over the age of13 to decide which parent to live with
after the separation.
full and equal
rights for children regardless of their gender, physical and
mental disability and age in inheritance cases. Any will, a
family or judicial decree that fully or partly deprives
children, under the pretext of religion or customs are void
and none biding.
Full equal rights
for mothers and fathers over the care, nurturing, education
and development of their children. Abolition of special
privileges of fathers as the head of the family. Transfer of
all family responsibilities equally between mothers and
adequate financial support, free medical, educational and
cultural services with high standards for all children
regardless of their family status.
Transfer of the
care of all children without families or family support to the
state. Provision of modern, high standard institutions for the
care and education of these children.
Creation of fully
equipped and modern nurseries and day care centres conducive
to healthy and creative development of all children regardless
of their family status.
organs and institutions dedicated to the provision of free
local babies and toddlers groups, recreational, educational
and care centres.
16 weeks paid leave during pregnancy and delivery. One year paid
maternity/paternity leave to be taken by mutual agreement of