The Republic of Croatia has been a party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1991. By accepting the Convention, Croatia committed to guaranteeing the rights prescribed by the Convention to each and every childChildren’s rights are defined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted at the 44th session of the United Nations General Assembly held on 20 November 1989 (Resolution No 44/25). The Convention on the Rights of the Child prescribes universal standards of protection of the child against all forms of discrimination or punishment, respect and promotion of the child’s right without discrimination on any basis.
Core principlesThe rights from the Convention on the Rights of the Child are based on the four core principles:
- Children may not be suffer discrimination of any kind, “irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status”.
- Children have a right to live and develop all areas of life, including physical, emotional, psychosocial, cognitive, social and cultural areas
- When making decisions or taking actions which affect the child or children as a group, the child’s well-being is the most important factor. This pertains both to decisions of government, administrative and legislative bodies, as well as decisions of the family.
- Children have to be allowed to actively participate in addressing those issues which affect their life and allowed to freely express their opinion. They have the right to express their views, which have to be given serious consideration.
European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s RightsThe European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights has been in force in the Republic of Croatia since 1 August 2010. It particularly protects children’s procedural rights; i.e. the right of the child to receive all relevant information, to be consulted and express his or her views, as well as to request a special representative in proceedings before the competent authorities affecting the child.
Act on Ratification of the European Convention on the Exercise of Children’s Rights (Official Gazette, No 1/2010—international section)