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Convention covers 90% of world's children

The Convention - a minimum standard for the care and protection of children.

Almost 99% of the world's children now live in countries whose governments have committed themselves to the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since it was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations just over five years ago, the Convention has been ratified by 174 nations. The governments of 6 more countries have signed the document - indicating their intention to ratify. Only 11 nations have neither signed nor ratified. Several of those are expected to do so before the end of the year.

Human rights conventions have usually taken several decades to become widely accepted. At the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights, it was proposed that all nations should aim to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the end of 1995.

Some countries have indicated that they have no objection to the Convention but wish to make sure that they are in compliance with all its provisions before ratifying. Most other governments have regarded ratification as a declaration of intent rather than of fact. The Government of India, for example, has ratified the Convention but indicated that it intends to "take measures to progressively implement" article 32, dealing with child labour.

The 6 countries that have signed but not ratified
Haiti*          Swaziland        Liechtenstein	
Switzerland     South Africa     United States

The 11 that have neither signed nor ratified
Andorra	              Singapore        Brunei Darussalam	
Somalia               Kiribati         Tonga
Oman	              Tuvalu           Palau	
United Arab Emirates  Saudi Arabia	

* Ratification near completion mid-April 1995.

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