Commonwealth Numbered Acts
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HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION ACT 1986 No. 125 of 1986 - SCHEDULE 3
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have, in the Charter, reaffirmed
their faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the
human person, and have determined to promote social progress and better
standards of life in larger freedom,
Whereas the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth
therein, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property,
birth or other status,
Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs
special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as
well as after birth,
Whereas the need for such special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva
Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924, and recognized in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the statutes of specialized
agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of
Whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,
The General Assembly
Proclaims this Declaration of the Rights of the Child to the end that he may
have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society
the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon ment
and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities
and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their
observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance
with the following principles:
The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every
child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights,
without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex,
language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.
The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and
facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically,
mentally, morally spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and
in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this
purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.
The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to
grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be
provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and
post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition,
housing, recreation and medical services.
The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given
the special treatment, education and care required by his particular
The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs
love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and
under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of
affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall
not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society
and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to
children without a family and to those without adequate means of support.
Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of
large families is desirable.
The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and
compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education
which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal
opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgment, and his sense
of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society.
The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those
responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the
first place with his parents.
The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be
directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities
shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.
The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection
The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and
exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.
The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum
age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or
employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with
his physical, mental or moral development.
The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious
and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of
understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal
brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be
devoted to the service of his fellow men.
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