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New Age for Child Protection - General Comment 13: Why It is Important, How It Was Constructed, and What It Intends?

NCJ Number
Child Abuse & Neglect Volume: 35 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2011 Pages: 970-978
Stuart N. Hart; Yanghee Lee; Marie Wernham
Date Published
December 2011
9 pages
This article discusses the importance of General Comment 13 for Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in November 1989. The UNCRC contains 41 substantive articles and 13 procedural and administrative articles that establish "the child as a rights bearing person and comprehensively sets forth survival, protection, development and participation rights which can be subdivided into civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights." Article 19 of the UNCRC emphasizes the primacy of preventing all forms of violence and maltreatment against children and that children have the right to live in an environment that is peaceful, loving, and free of all violence. General Comment 13 (GC13) for Article 19 was adopted in 2011 and calls for a child rights-based approach to child caregiving and protection. This article describes the major elements of GC13: a human rights approach to child protection, a holistic approach to child protection, primary prevention as the predominant strategy for child protection, a definition of who constitutes a child, a definition of violence, a comprehensive definition of caregivers, obligations to and responsibilities of the family, child participation and agency, a requirement for comprehensive intervention, a national coordinating framework-stewardship at all levels in all sectors, and accountability of all stakeholders. References