Here is a summary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — the rights that each and every one of you have and which your family, the government and society at large, must make sure that you get. However, these are just some of the basic rights of children as established by the United Nations, there are many other rights as the Convention has 54 articles in all, with two optional additions made in 2000.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified human rights treaty in history. It was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989.
ì Everyone under the age of 18 has all the rights in the convention.
ì The convention applies to everyone whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from.
ì Governments must do all they can to make sure every child can enjoy their rights.
ì Every child has the right to life.
ì Every child has a right to a legal name and be cared for by their parents.
ì Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously.
ì Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their child and should always consider what is best for the child.
ì Every child has the right to say what they think and to seek and receive all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
ì Governments must do all they can to ensure that children are protected from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect and bad treatment by their parents or anyone else who looks after them.
ì A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and independence and to play an active part in the community. Governments must do all they can to provide support to disabled children.
ì Every child has the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical, social and mental needs. Governments must help families that cannot afford to provide these.
ì Every child has the right to education. Primary education must be free; secondary education must be available to every child.
ì Every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural and artistic activities.
ì Government must protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or education.
ì Government must protect children from abuse and exploitation.
ì No child should be tortured or suffer other cruel treatment or punishment.
ì A child accused or guilty of breaking the law must be treated with dignity and respect.
ì If the laws of a particular country protect children better than the articles of the convention, then those laws must stay in place.— Compiled from unicef.org.uk