Children’s Rights and the UNCRC

Children’s Rights and the UNCRC

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, or UNCRC, is the basis of all of UNICEF’s work. It is the most complete statement of children’s rights ever produced and is the most widely-ratified international human rights treaty in history.

The Convention has 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.

Every child has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.

The Convention must be seen as a whole: all the rights are linked and no right is more important that another. The right to relax and play (Article 31) and the right to freedom of expression (Article 13) have equal importance as the right to be safe from violence (Article 19) and the right to education (Article 28).

The UNCRC is also the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world – it’s even been accepted by non-state entities, such as the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), a rebel movement in South Sudan. All UN member states except for the United States have ratified the Convention. The Convention came into force in the UK in 1992.

Source: www.unicef.org.uk

View the Childrens’ rights timeline

UNCRC articles:

Below is a summarised version of the articles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

A full version is available from UNICEF website (PDF)

Article 1: Everyone under 18 has these rights.

Article 2: All children have these rights no matter what.  All children should be treated equally.

Article 3: Adults should always do what is best for you.

Article 4: The Government should make sure that all children and young people get these rights.

Article 5: The Government should respect the right of your family to help you know about your rights.

Article 6: You have the right to life, to grow up and reach your full potential.

Article 7: You have the right to a name and a nationality.

Article 8: You have the right to an identity.

Article 9: You have the right to live with your parents, if this is what’s best for you.

Article 10: You have the right to see your family even if they live in a different country.

Article 11: You have the right not to be kidnapped or taken out of the country illegally.

Article 12: You have the right to be listened to and taken seriously.

Article 13: You have the right to find out and share information, and say what you think.

Article 14: You have the right to practise your own religion, as long as you’re not stopping people from enjoying their rights.

Article 15: You have the right to meet with friends and join groups.

Article 16: You have the right to privacy.

Article 17: You have the right to honest information from the media that you can understand, as long as it’s safe.

Article 18: You have the right to be brought up by both parents, if possible.

Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated.

Article 20: You have the right to be looked after properly if you can’t live with your own family.

Article 21: If you can’t live with your parents, you have the right to live in the best place for you.

Article 22: If you are a refugee, you have the same rights as any other child in the country.

Article 23: If you are disabled, you have the right to special care and support so that you can lead a full and independent life.

Article 24: You have the right to clean water, healthy food, a clean environment and good healthcare.

Article 25: If you’re not living with your family, you have the right to a regular check on how you’re being cared for.

Article 26: You have the right to support from the Government if your family hasn’t got enough money to live on.

Article 27: You have the right to a proper house, food and clothing. Governments must help families who cannot afford to provide this.

Article 28: You have the right to an education.

Article 29: You have the right to be the best you can be. Education must help you develop your skills and talents to the full.

Article 30: You have the right to speak your own language and follow your family’s way of life.

Article 31: You have the right to relax and play.

Article 32: You have the right to be protected from doing dangerous work.

Article 33: You have the right to be protected from dangerous drugs.

Article 34: Nobody should touch you in ways that make you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or sad.

Article 35: You have the right to not be abducted, sold or trafficked.

Article 36: You have the right to be kept safe from things that could harm your development.

Article 37: You have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way.

Article 38: You have the right to be protected during a war and not to fight in the army if you’re under 15.

Article 39: These articles are about how adults and the Government must work together to make sure all children get their rights. You have the right to special help if you’ve been hurt or badly treated.

Article 40: These articles are about how adults and the Government must work together to make sure all children get their rights. You have the right to legal help and to be treated fairly if you’ve been accused of breaking the law.

Article 41: These articles are about how adults and the Government must work together to make sure all children get their rights. If the laws in your country protect you better than the rights in this list, those laws should stay in place.

Article 42: These articles are about how adults and the Government must work together to make sure all children get their rights. The Government must let children and families know about children’s rights.

Articles 43-54: These articles are about how adults and the Government must work together to make sure all children get their rights.