Written statement / submitted by the World Young Women's Christian Association.
UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL Distr. GENERAL E/CN.4/1985/NGO/24 20 February 1935 ENGLISH Original: FRENCH COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Forty-first session Agenda item 13 QUESTION OF A CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD Written statement submitted by the world Young women's CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION A NON-GOVERNMENTAL organization in consultative status (category II) The Secretary-General has received the following communication which is circulated in accordance with Economic one Social Council resolution 1296 (XLIV). [7 February 1985] The World Young women's Christian Association wishes once again to draw the attention of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to the question of the abduction of children following the separation of couples of different nationalities, with reference to article 6 ter of the draft convention on the rights of the child, as discussed under agent item 13. The gravity of the problem and its tragic consequences for children and also for parents deprived of their rights in more than nine cases out of ten are mothers - calls for urgent legal co-operation among States. In its resolution 1982/39, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations: 1. Calls the attention of states to the proliferation of cases of removal and retention of children and invites them to co-operate actively with a view to preventing the occurrence of such cases and to solving them speedily, out of concern for the interest of the child. 2. Invites States to organize such co-operation through the contention of bilateral arrangements or through accession to regional conventions or international conventions such as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of 25 October 1960 which is open to all States; 3. Invites the Commission on Human Rights, when drafting the convention on the rights of the child, to take into consideration the protection of the rights of the child in cases of unauthorized international removal." The recent experiences reported by some of our associations indicate that the States concerned are feeing serious difficulties with regard to legal collaboration at three stages? GE 85-10925 B/CN/l985/to GO/24 page 2 When drafting conventions and examining disputes which are too frequently characterized by unjustifiable delays in the conduct of negotiations and sometimes even by refusal to negotiate? When ratifying conventions such as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; When applying ratified conventions. For abducted children and their mothers, the consequences are the same an endless period of waiting and loot years that can never be replaced. The traumatic effects suffered by the child as a result of brutal removal from its normal environment and, in particular, deprivation of contact with its mother, are frequently irreparable not only from the psychological standpoint but also from the point of view of the child's professional future. The mothers, for their part, wear themselves out in fruitless representations without being able to enjoy the protection that every person is entitled to expect from his country of origin or adoption. In conclusion, believing that acts of child abduction contravene: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 5 of which stipulates that "no one shall be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment", a provision reaffirmed in article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; The Declaration on the Rights of the Child, principle 2 of which stipulates that "the child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity"; and, in particular, The right of the child "to maintain personal relations and direct contacts with both parents", a right that can be traced back to the universal conscience and to which tangible expression is given in the draft convention on the rights of the child, The World Young Women's Christian Association, together with other non-governmental organizations that are determined to follow up the oases under consideration, calls upon the Commission on Human Rights to give special attention to this question at its forty-first session during the consideration of agenda item 13, and to issue specific recommendations to States to seek humanitarian solutions with a view to putting an end to such tragic situations.