CRC Article 30 (1989)

*Excerpt from "Ensuring the Rights of Indigenous Children" published by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre: "...The CRC is the first binding instrument in international law to deal comprehensively with the rights of children. The implementation of the CRC is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which assesses the progress made by States Parties in fulfilling their obligations. In the context of its mandate, the Committee makes suggestions and recommendations to governments and the UN General Assembly on ways to meet the Convention’s objectives. The Committee also holds days of
general discussion on specific issues it considers to be of particular importance. In 2003, the day of general discussion was devoted to the rights of indigenous children...Article 30: The CRC is one of the first international human rights treaties to address explicitly the situation of indigenous children. While all the provisions of the Convention apply to these children, Article 30 specifically addresses their reality: “In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities or persons of indigenous origins exist, a child belonging to such a minority or who is indigenous shall not be denied the right, in community with other members of his or her group, to enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practise his or her own religion, or to use his or her own language.” The very existence of such an article indicates a concern regarding the need for special safeguards to ensure the enjoyment of indigenous culture, religion and language. It also highlights the importance of
the indigenous child enjoying these elements “in community with other members of his or her group”. In adopting this approach, the Convention acknowledges that certain activities draw their significance from the fact that they are pursued in a group that shares the same values. Thus, while this provision addresses the individual rights of the indigenous child, it further recognizes the collective dimension of culture, religion and language. Article 30 does not make explicit the important relationship between indigenous culture and the natural environment. Nonetheless, in indigenous communities the enjoyment of culture and the profession of religion are so closely linked to sacred sites and the natural environment that preserving this environment and ensuring access to land may be interpreted as a necessary prerequisite for the realization of the child’s right to “enjoy his or her own culture, to profess and practice his or her own religion”...

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