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Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 November 1989.
"The Government of the Cook Islands reserves the right not to apply the provisions of article 2 in so far as those provisions may relate to the conferment of Cook Islands nationality, citizenship or permanent residency upon a child having regard to the Constitution and other legislation as may from time to time be in force in the Cooks Islands.
With respect to article 10, the Government of the Cook Islands reserves the right to apply such legislation, in so far as it relates to the entry into, stay in and departure from the Cook Islands of those who not not have the right under the law of the Cook Islands to enter and remain in the Cook Islands, and to the acquisition and possession of citizenship, as it may deem necessary from time to time."
"Domestically, the Convention does not apply directly. It establishes the State obligations under international law that the Cook Islands fulfils in accordance with its national law.
Article 2 paragraph (1) does not necessarily imply the obligation of States automatically to guarantee foreigners the same rights as their nationals. The concept of non-discrimination on the basis of national origin should be understood as designed to rule out all arbitrary conduct but not differences in treatment based on objective and reasonable considerations, in accordance with the principles prevailing in democratic societies.
The Government of the Cook Islands will take the opportunity afforded by its accession to the Convention to initiate reforms in its domestic legislation relating to adoption that are in keeping with the spirit of the Convention and that it considers appropriate, in line with article 3 (2) of the Convention to ensure the well-being of the child. While all adoptions now permitted under Cook Islands law are based on the principle of the best interest of the child being of paramount consideration and authorised by the High Court in accordance with applicable law and procedures and on the basis of all pertinent and reliable information, the principle aim of the planned measures will be to remove vestigial discrimination provisions governing adoptions found in legislation enacted with respect to the Cook Islands prior to the acquisition of sovereignty by the Cook Islands in order to ensure non-discriminatory adoption arrangements for all Cook Islands nationals."
Ratification / Accession
Reservation / Declaration