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When the Convention on the Rights of the Child was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989, governments took a major step forward in establishing a framework of world law to protect the basic dignity and rights of children in all parts of the world. This universal framework is based on the principle that each child should have the possibility to develop into an active and responsible member of society. The way in which a society treats its children reflects not only its qualities of compassion and protective caring, but also its sense of justice, its commitment to the future and its urge to better the human condition for coming generations.