Human Rights and the Unborn Child by Rita Joseph

By Rita Joseph

Reaffirming the common Declaration's acceptance of the human rights of the unborn baby, this booklet explores the consequences of this attractiveness for contemporary foreign human rights legislation, constructing a case for restoring criminal safety for kids prone to abortion.

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365, p. 24. 37 23 24 Chapter 2 Draft Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1957) The established concept of human rights for the unborn child as well as human rights for the child’s mother was reaffirmed in the 1957 Draft Declaration on the Rights of the Child. Following negotiations on Principle 5, the following wording was agreed: The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate prenatal and post-natal care.

Article 6(4) of this Protocol provides an important indicator of the strength of the Geneva Conventions’ well-established fundamental concern for the right to life of the unborn child: Article 6(4) The death penalty shall not be pronounced on persons who were under the age of eighteen years at the time of the offence and shall not be carried out on pregnant women or mothers of young children. Again, the common focal point is children. The object and purpose is to provide special safeguards and care including legal protection for all children before and after birth, and protection for mothers who are a critically essential conduit for the provision of special safeguards and care to the child before birth and to “very young children”.

13 This text became the basis of Article 6 of the Draft International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) when subsequently, it was decided that two covenants would need to be drafted—the ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). 14 The emphasis is always on authorities providing comprehensive care for the expectant mother and her child. , p. 38. , p. 36. 4/21. g. Articles 14, 23, 50 & 89; also Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Articles 70, 76 & 77.

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