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  1. The universal declaration of human rights refers to all stages of life. All human beings are born free and with the same dignity and rights.
  2. The dignity of the newborn, as the human being he/she is, is a transcendent value. Newborns must be protected in accordance with the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
  3. Every newborn has the right to life. This right must be respected by all people and governments without discriminating on the grounds of race, sex, economy, geographical place of birth, religion, presence of disability or any other. States should take the necessary measures to protect children from discrimination.
  4. Every newborn has the right for its life not to be put at risk due to cultural, political or religious reasons. Nobody has the right to carry out any action whereby the newborn’s health is put at risk or his/her physical integrity is affected, be it in the short or in the long term. Under no circumstances may any mutilation be justified; Circumcision is allowed, provided that necessary analgesia is given.
  5. Every newborn has the right to a correct identification, filiations and a nationality. The state must guarantee this right to the same extent as for any other person at any age in life.
  6. Every newborn has the right to receive sanitary, affective and social care which will allow him/her to undergo optimal physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development later in life. The Society is responsible for the compliance of all requisites so that this right is respected. No medical act should be carried out without the informed consent of the parents, given the lack of autonomy of the newborn, and only emergency situations are excluded from this at which the physician is forced to act in defense of the child’s best interests and there is no possibility of any intervention by the parents or guardian. There must be equity of attention and absolute rejection of all forms of discrimination, irrespective of economic or social class.
  7. Every newborn has the right to correct nutrition, which guarantees his/her growth. Maternal lactation must be encouraged and facilitated. When it is not possible for the mother to breast feed, be it for personal, physical or psychological reasons pertaining to the mother, correct artificial lactation must be facilitated.
  8. All newborn has the right to correct medical care. Children have the right to enjoy the highest degree of health and to have access to medical, rehabilitation and preventive services. The states must take all necessary measures aimed at abolishing traditional practices, which are detrimental to the health of the child. Governments must take care of both pre and post natal health care.
  9. A pregnant woman carrying a fetus with anomalies, which are incompatible with life has the right to continue with the pregnancy or to choose to terminate pregnancy within the legal limits of each individual country if they so wish. If the fetus should actually be born, futile therapeutic measures should not be applied to the newly born, but comfort care is to be performed to avoid pain.
  10. It should not be attempted to keep alive any newborn whose immaturity is greater than the lowest limit of viability. This right should consider the real local possibilities and survival rates of the place where the baby is born. In all cases, the parents will have to be informed before the birth whenever possible.
  11. Every newborn has the right to take advantage of the measures of each country regarding social protection and safety. This right refers as much to measures of protection and care in health as to the legal field.
  12. The newborn may not be separated from its parents against their will. In cases in which there is evidence of abuse, and these circumstances indicate that the life of the newborn is at risk, the appropriate legislative and administrative measures shall be taken in order to guarantee the child’s protection, even if this means separating the child from its parents. This norm will be applicable during the newborn’s stay in hospital.
  13. All newborns and pregnant women have the right to protection in countries where armed conflict is present. In these situations, maternal lactation must be promoted and protected.
  14. If newborns are enrolled in clinical research, ethical conduct of clinical research involving children must be applied to ensure their benefit from the progress in medical care made possible by such research while minimizing the risks from their participation.


The newborn is a person with specific rights which it cannot demand itself due to its physical and mental immaturity. These rights impose a series of obligations and responsibilities on society, which the legislative and executive institutions of all countries must enforce.

Adapted from Declaration of Barcelona, SNS 2010