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Animal Abuse Is Referenced in a 'Legally Binding' Human Rights Charter of the United Nations for the First Time 

‘Children must be protected from all forms of physical and psychological violence and from exposure to violence, such as domestic violence or violence inflicted on animals’- UN General Comment 26 was launched on September 18 2023 by United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, providing definitive guidance and clarity on how 196 nations must change policies, practices & laws to achieve compliance with the 'legally binding' UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Biggest Change to Animal Protection Rights That the World Has Ever Seen !

Animal Rights elevated into the Human Rights domain for the first time in history !

In September 2023,  UN General Comment 26 was published. UN General Comments provide definitive guidance and clarity as to how States Parties must change practices, policies & laws to be in compliance with the 'legally binding' UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.


196 nations are now under a 'strict obligation' to ensure that laws and policies are introduced to ensure that children are protected from experiencing any violence inflicted on an animal.   


   General Comment 26 on Childrens Rights and the Environment with a Special Focus on Climate Change was formally launched on September 18.


 European Link Coalition had conducted research into effects on children in societies where violence against  animals were government policies. This allowed reports to  be submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child providing with academic resilience, evidence of  'harmful effects' on the psychopathology of children exposed to violence against any sentient animal. The Spanish  Division of Fondation Franz Weber had provided similar reports where children were exposed to the violence of bullfighting.

This is the first time that violence against animals is specifically referenced in a 'legally binding' Charter of the United Nations when European Link Coalition submitted a report for inclusion in UN General Comment 26.

This also elevates Animal Rights into the Human Rights domain.

A UN General Comment gives global guidance & clarification of articles in the 'legally binding' UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

General Comment 26 Article G35

‘Children must be protected from all forms of physical and psychological violence and from exposure to violence, such as domestic violence or violence inflicted on animals’

 ' Decision-makers, whether on a political or administrative level, have an obligation to implement, to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the Convention and that automatically includes the interpretation by the treaty body of these rights, namely the General Comments '


 Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states the following:

“1. States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child. 

UN General Comment 13 states :

Legal analysis of article 19, paragraph 1 

1. “… all forms of ...” No exceptions. The Committee has consistently maintained the position that all forms of violence against children, however light, are unacceptable. “All forms of physical or mental violence” does not leave room for any level of legalized violence against children. Frequency, severity of harm and intent to harm are not prerequisites for the definitions of violence. States parties may refer to such factors in intervention strategies in order to allow proportional responses in the best interests of the child, but definitions must in no way erode the child’s absolute right to human dignity and physical and psychological integrity by describing some forms of violence as legally and/or socially acceptable. 


​3. “shall take …” 37. “Shall take” is a term which leaves no leeway for the discretion of States parties. Accordingly, States parties are under strict obligation to undertake “all appropriate measures” to fully implement this right for all children. 


Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Can you confirm that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, dated 20th November 1989, is a legally binding document on the State Parties?  


Yes. Each State party to a treaty has an obligation to take steps to ensure that everyone in the State can enjoy the rights set out in the treaty. 


All States parties are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on the implementation of the Convention. States must submit an initial report two years after acceding to the Convention and then periodic reports every five years. The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of “concluding observations”. Concluding observations are legally binding. 

It is groundbreaking !


The realization that we protect animals when we protect children - and protect children when we protect animals is groundbreaking and children's rights have been accepted by almost all countries worldwide. ‘Protect the animal to save the child…Protect the child to save the animal has proven to be an effective line.

We would like to thank those who have previously worked tirelessly and those who are currently participating to fulfil these requirements, creating awareness of the 'legally binding strict obligations' which are now placed on any government which has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that every country in the world (except USA) is 'legally bound' to change practices, policies and laws which may prevent exposure of children to violence against animals. It also means every child in the world must now be protected.

Among those who have contributed to the creation of the guidance and providing support for the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to 'Raise awareness among State officials, the media & the public about the negative effects on children of the exposure to such (violent) practices' are :-

Professor Clifford Flynn (Retired) - Snr Vice Chancellor at University of South Carolina Upstate

Professor Eleonora Gullone - Monash University, Australia

Dr Laura Meyer - Clinical Professor at University of Denver

Dr Roshni Trehan Ladny - Criminologist - Florida Gulf Coast University

Les Ward MBE - Marchig Animal Welfare Trust

PETA Deutschland

 Soi Dogs Foundation, Vietnam

Dr. Tani Khara - University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Dr Anna Mulà - Fondation Franz Weber

Peter Egan - UK Actor & Animal Advocate

Pia Berrend - Occupy For Animals



More information


Various videos

Explaining how violent animal abuse can normalise violence in a child -


Interest, Inform & Invite video (in various languages)


Presentation -


Comprehensive detail including connections between the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child & the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by every UN Member country.



  1. CRC/C/TUN/CO/4-6 16c

© 2017 by European Link Coalition

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