Child Rights: No right is more important than the other


Child Rights are linked together and no one is more important than the other.

According to a UNICEF report, all the 54 articles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNCRC must be seen as a whole. 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 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.

A quick check on the 54 Articles

Article 1

A child means every human being below the age of 18.

Child Rights: A promise to every child in the world

Article 2  

States parties must ensure all rights apply to children regardless of their age, race, religion, gender, wealth or birthplace.

Article 3

All signatories to the convention must work towards actions in the best interests of the child.

Article 4

Governments must make these rights available to all children.

Article 5

Governments and parents must ensure children are equipped with the knowledge to understand their rights.

Article 6

All children have an inherent right to life.

Article 7

Governments should respect a child’s right to a name and nationality.

Article 8

Governments must respect a child’s right to their own identity.

Article 9

Children should not be removed from their parents unless for their own good.

Article 10

Families living in different countries should be able to move between them so children can have direct contact with both parents.

Article 11

Governments must take all measures to combat the illegal removal of children from their country.

Article 12

Children have the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them.

Article 13

Children have the right to freedom of expression and can seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds.

Article 14

Governments should respect the right of children to have freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 15

Children have the right to freedom of association.

Article 16

Children have the right to privacy.

Article 17

Governments should ensure children have access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral wellbeing and health.

Article 18

Both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child, with the best interests of the child their basic concern.

Article 19

Governments should ensure children are protected from all forms of physical and mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Article 20

Children who cannot be cared for by their own parents should be looked after by people who respect their religion, culture and language.

Article 21

When a child is adopted, their best interests should be the utmost priority

Article 22

Children who enter a country as refugees should have the same rights as children born in that country.

Article 23

Children with any kind of disability must have special care and support.

Article 24

Children have the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health. Governments should work towards the development of healthcare and diminish disease and child mortality.

Article 25

Children placed in care have the right to have their situation reviewed by their local authorities regularly.

Article 26

Governments should provide the right resources for children if they need to benefit from social security.

Article 27

All children have the right to a standard of living adequate for their physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

Article 28

All children have the right to an education.

Article 29

Education should help the development of a child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities so they can reach their full potential.

Article 30

Children have the right to practise their own religion or language.

Article 31

All children have the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

Article 32

Governments must protect children from economic exploitation or performing work that can interfere with their education or could be harmful to their development.

Article 33

Governments must take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect children from the illicit use of drugs and prevent use of children in the production and trafficking of such substances.

Article 34

Governments must protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

Article 35

Governments must protect children from being abducted, sold or trafficked.

Article 36

Children must be protected from all forms of exploitation that can harm their welfare.

Article 37

No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel treatment or punishment; no child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall only be used as a last report and for the shortest appropriate period of time.

Article 38

Governments should take all feasible measures to ensure that children under the age of 15 don’t take direct part in armed conflicts.

Article 39

Governments should take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of children exposed to neglect, exploitation or abuse.

Article 40

Children accused of breaking the law should receive legal help.

Article 41

If the laws of a country protect a child better than the articles of the convention, then the laws should be followed.

Article 42

Governments should make this convention widely known to adults and children.

Article 43-54

These articles contain methods for institutions, organisations and individuals to ensure respect for child rights.


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