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Rights Of The Child

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the reservations entered by her Department on the United Nations convention on the rights of the child; and what was the reason behind each reservation.

The Government entered the following two reservations in respect of matters for which the Department of Health has responsibility. These are set out in "Treaty Series No. 44 (1992), Convention on the Rights of the Child", presented to Parliament in July 1992.

  • a. The United Kingdom interprets the Convention as applicable only following a live birth.
  • b. The United Kingdom interprets the references in the Convention to "parents" to mean only those persons who, as a matter of national law, are treated as parents. This includes cases where the law regards a child as having only one parent, for example where a child has been adopted by one person only and in certain cases where a child is conceived other than as a result of sexual intercourse by the woman who gives birth to it and she is treated as the only parent.
  • The reservations reflect the existing position under United Kingdom law in the fields abortion, adoption and assisted conception.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement outlining the timetable envisaged by her Department for the preparation of the report scheduled to be submitted by the United Kingdom to the United Nations committee on the rights of the child; and if she will list the organisations to be consulted in the preparation of the report.

    The United Kingdom will submit its first report to the Convention on the rights of the child, on the measures adopted by the United Kingdom to give effect to the rights recognised in the convention, by 14 January 1994, as required by article 44 of the United Nations convention.