Convention on the Rights of the Child

This general comment arises out of the Committee’s experiences of reviewing States parties’ reports. In many cases, very little information has been offered about early childhood, with comments limited mainly to child mortality, birth registration and health care. The Committee felt the need for a discussion on the broader implications of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for young children. Accordingly, in 2004, the Committee devoted its day of general discussion to the theme “Implementing child rights in early childhood”. This resulted in a set of recommendations (see CRC/C/143, sect. VII) as well as the decision to prepare a general comment on this important topic. Through this general comment, the Committee wishes to encourage recognition that young children are holders of all rights enshrined in the Convention and that early childhood is a critical period for the realization of these rights. The Committee’s working definition of “early childhood” is all young children: at birth and throughout infancy; during the preschool years; as well as during the transition to school.

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