Plight of street children, G.A. res. 47/126, 47 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 200, U.N. Doc. A/47/49 (1992).

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a major contribution to the protection of the rights of all children,

Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted at the World Summit for Children on 30 September 1990, the World Declaration on Education for All adopted by the World Conference on Education for All on 9 March 1990 and chapter 25 of Agenda 21 adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, on 14 June 1992,

Reaffirming that children are a particularly vulnerable section of society whose rights require special protection and that children living under especially difficult circumstances, such as street children, deserve special attention, protection and assistance from their families and communities and as part of national efforts and international cooperation,

Profoundly concerned that the killing of street children and violence against them threaten the most fundamental right of all,the right to life,

Recognizing that all children have the right to health, shelter and education, to an adequate standard of living and to freedom from violence and harassment,

Deeply concerned about the growing number of street children world wide and the squalid conditions in which these children are often forced to live,

Recognizing the responsibility of Governments to investigate all cases of offences against children and to punish offenders,

Recognizing also that legislation per se is not enough to prevent violation of human rights, including those of street children, and that Governments should implement their laws and complement legislative measures with effective action, inter alia, in the fields of law enforcement and the administration of justice,

Welcoming the efforts made by countries to address the question of street children,

Welcoming also the publicity given to, and the increased awareness of, the plight of street children, and the achievements of non-governmental organizations in promoting the rights of these children and in providing practical assistance to improve their situation, and expressing its appreciation for their continued efforts,

Welcoming further the valuable work of the United Nations Children's Fund and its National Committees in reducing the suffering of street children,

Noting with appreciation the important work carried out in this field by the United Nations, in particular the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme,

Bearing in mind the diverse causes of the emergence and marginalization of street children, including poverty, rural-to-urban migration, unemployment, broken families, intolerance and exploitation, and that such causes are often aggravated and their solution made more difficult by serious socio-economic difficulties,

Reaffirming the importance of international cooperation for improving the living conditions of children in every country,

Recognizing that the prevention and solution of certain aspects of this phenomenon could also be facilitated in the context of economic and social development,

1. Expresses grave concern at the growing number of incidents world wide and at reports of street children being involved in and affected by serious crime, drug abuse, violence and prostitution;

2. Urges Governments to continue actively to seek comprehensive solutions to tackle the problems of street children and to take measures to restore their full participation in society and to provide, inter alia, adequate nutrition, shelter, health care and education;

3. Strongly urges Governments to respect fundamental human rights, particularly the right to life, and to take urgent measures to prevent the killing of street children and to combat violence and torture against street children;

4. Emphasizes that strict compliance with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child constitutes a significant step towards solving the problems of street children;

5. Calls upon all States that have not done so to become parties to the Convention as a matter of priority;

6. Calls upon the international community to support, through effective international cooperation, the efforts of States to improve the situation of street children, and encourages States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in preparing their reports to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, to bear this problem in mind and to consider requesting, or indicating their need for, technical advice and assistance for initiatives aimed at improving the situation of street children, in accordance with article 45 of the Convention;

7. Invites the Committee on the Rights of the Child to consider the possibility of a general comment on street children;

8. Recommends that the Committee on the Rights of the Child and other relevant treaty-monitoring bodies bear this growing problem in mind when examining reports from States parties;

9. Invites Governments, United Nations bodies and organizations and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to cooperate among themselves and to ensure greater awareness and more effective action to solve the problem of street children by, among other measures, supporting development projects that can have a positive impact on the situation of street children;

10. Calls upon special rapporteurs, special representatives and working groups of the Commission on Human Rights and of the Subcommission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, within their mandates, to pay particular attention to the plight of street children;

11. Invites the Commission on Human Rights to examine this problem at its forty-ninth session;

12. Decides to consider the question further at its forty-eighth session under the item entitled "Human rights questions".

92nd plenary meeting
18 December 1992