The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human rights agreement in history. Up to 196 countries have signed the agreement and promised to protect children’s rights.
The Convention says childhood is a special, protected time, in which children must be allowed to grow, learn, play, develop and flourish with dignity.
The list is written in simple language so these points can be also discussed with children. Let's make children's rights more visible to everyone.
The Convention on the Rights of the child - 14 picked by UNICEF
2. No discrimination
All children have all these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what language they speak, what their religion is, what they think, what they look like, if they are a boy or girl, if they have a disability if they are rich or poor, and no matter who their parents or families are or what their parents or families believe or do. No child should be treated unfairly for any reason.
3. Best interests of the child
When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. All adults should do what is best for children. Governments should make sure children are protected and looked after by their parents, or by other people when this is needed. Governments should make sure that people and places responsible for looking after children are doing a good job.
12. Respect for children's views
Children have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously.
Take children's views into consideration in the Child's Individual Curriculum.
13. Sharing thoughts freely
Children have the right to share freely with others what they learn, think and feel, by talking, drawing, writing, or in any other way unless it harms other people.
14. Freedom of thought and religion
Children can choose their own thoughts, opinions, and religion, but this should not stop other people from enjoying their rights. Parents can guide children so that as they grow up, they learn to properly use this right.
17. Access to information
Children have the right to get information from the Internet, radio, television, newspapers, books, and other sources. Adults should make sure the information they are getting is not harmful. Governments should encourage the media to share information from lots of different sources, in languages that all children can understand
22. Refugee children
Children who move from their home country to another country as refugees (because it was not safe for them to stay there) should get help and protection and have the same rights as children born in that country.
28. Access to education
Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Secondary and higher education should be available to every child. Children should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level possible. Discipline in schools should respect children’s rights and never use violence.
29. Aims of education
Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents, and abilities. It should teach them to understand their own rights and to respect other people’s rights, cultures, and differences. It should help them to live peacefully and protect the environment.
30. Minority culture, language, and religion
Children have the right to use their own language, culture, and religion - even if these are not shared by most people in the country where they live.
31. Rest, play, culture, arts
Every child has the right to rest, relax, play, and take part in cultural and creative activities.
38. Protection in war
Children have the right to be protected during war. No child under 15 can join the army or take part in the war.
39. Recovery and reintegration
Children have the right to get help if they have been hurt, neglected, treated badly, or affected by war, so they can get back their health and dignity.
42. Everyone must know children's rights
Governments should actively tell children and adults about this Convention so that everyone knows about children’s rights.
Let's wish good things for all the children around the world today, tomorrow, and every single day of the year!