The Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international human rights treaty. The General Assembly of the United Nations (UN), in its resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989, adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, based on the draft proposed by the UN Commission on Human Rights in its resolution 1989/57 of 8 March 1989. The Convention entered into force on 2 September 1990. As at May 2002 the Convention had been ratified by 191 States.
The Convention consists of 54 articles, and is divided into a preamble and three parts. Part I (arts. 1-41) contains provisions relating to the rights of children; part II (arts. 42-45) provisions relating to implementation; and part III (arts. 46-54) a number of final clauses. Articles 37 and 40 of the Convention specifically cover obligations in the sphere of juvenile justice.
International human rights instruments may be binding or non-binding. Binding instruments ("hard law") are conventions and other treaties that have to be ratified or acceded to by States individually, and which carry specific legally-based obligations for those Staes as regards compliance with the standards and actions stipulated therein. Non-binding instruments ("soft law") are declarations, sets of principles, recommendations, etc. that are adopted with or without a vote in an international forum - e.g. the UN General Assembly - but that do not require subsequent explicit adhesion by States and that carry no more than a morally-based expectation that States will abide by them.