Child Welfare Legislation in India: Will Indian Children Benefit from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

The subject of children’s rights has been dealt with both directly and indirectly in a number of international legal instruments over the years. Initially, there were differences concerning the need for a Convention over and above the already existing legislation. Some countries felt that children should not be treated as a category set apart from other human beings and thereby be the object of a separate legal document. On the other hand, countries in favor of a Convention wanted to create a single legal instrument which would take into account children’s requirements on a universal scale. They also saw the need to fill gaps in existing international legislation by taking notice of the fact that childrens’ needs required higher standards than those applicable to adults. These countries also felt that it was important to have legislation which was binding and enforceable. The drafting process which initially began very slowly was considerably hastened as the decade drew to a close. The draft convention was then hurriedly put before the General Assembly, so that the Convention could be adopted in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the 1959 Declaration and the tenth anniversary of IYC. The Convention has now been adopted and will enter into force once twenty States have ratified or acceded to it. It stands as a good example of political cooperation between nations and projects the unity of views on certain matters.