Mrz 122008
 

WELCOME to the UN Youth Flash, a service of the United Nations Programme on Youth,
to keep you informed about the work of the UN on youth issues. UN Youth Flash can be
read on-line at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/ unyin/flash.htm.
In this issue:
– Feature: Convention on youth rights entered into force on 1 March
– Highlights from UN Headquarters
– Highlights from UN agencies around the world
– Calendar of Youth Events
– On the Internet

FEATURE: Convention on youth rights entered into force on 1 March

On 1 March, the Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth (ICRY) entered into
force. The ICRY is the only international treaty in the world that specifically recognizes the
rights of young people. It was developed and promoted by the Ibero-American Youth
Organization, also known by its Spanish acronym, OIJ.
On 1 February, Costa Rica became the fifth country to ratify the ICRY, after Ecuador, the
Dominican Republic, Honduras and Spain, thereby meeting the required procedure and
timeframe prescribed by the international law that governs the Convention’s entry into force.
In practical terms, this means that any young person in Latin America, Spain and Portugal
who has his/her rights violated can invoke this legal tool.

The Ibero-American Convention on the Rights of Youth includes 44 articles which establish
a series of civil and political rights (such as the right to life, to conscious objection, to
justice, freedom of thought and religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and
association) and of economic, social and cultural rights (including the right to education, to
sexual education, to culture and art, to employment, and to shelter). The Convention also
includes articles detailing mechanisms for its implementation (participatory processes,
ratification, amendments, infringement of the Convention).

For the majority of young people around the world, this represents an important
development in realizing their rights. The Convention sets a precedent in areas such as the
right to life (elimination of death penalty for young people), the right to object to
compulsory military service, the right to justice (the right to be presumed innocent until
found guilty), the right to sexual education, the right not to be discriminated against
(regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation), as well as the right to
development.

The text was signed by most Ibero-American countries in 2005, in the Spanish city of
Badajoz, with the support of Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Portugal, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.. After the signing the process of ratification began,
which has now ended its initial phase with the entry into force of the Convention after the
ratification by five countries. However, the ratification process continues, awaiting other
signatory countries to follow suit. Argentina, Chile and Colombia have not yet signed the
ICRY.

The Secretary-General of OIJ expressed the hope that the Ibero-American Youth Year,
which is being celebrated this year, as well as the upcoming Ibero-American Summit on
“Youth and Development