Rights are things every child should have or be able to do. All children have the same rights. These rights are listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Almost every country has agreed to these rights. All the rights are connected to each other, and all are equally important.
Sometimes, we have to think about rights in terms of what is best for children in a situation, and what is critical to life and protection from harm. As you grow, you have more responsibility to make choices and exercise your rights. Let’s look at these “rights” –
Right No.1 – Everyone under 18 has these rights
Right No.2 – All children have these rights no matter who they are, where they live, what the parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or a girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
Right No.3 – All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how these decisions will affect children.
Right No.4 – The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights are protected. They may help your family to protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow and reach your potential.
Right No.5 – Your family has a responsibility to help you to learn to exercise your rights, and to ensure that your rights are protected.
Right No.6 – You have the right to be alive.
Right No.7 – You have the right to a name, and this should be officially recognised by the government. You have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country).
Right No.8 – You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. No one should take that away from you.
Right No.9 – You have the right to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
Right No.10 – If you live in a different country than your parents do, you have the right to live together in the same place.
Right No.11 – You have the right to be protected from kidnapping.
Right No.12 – You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
Right No.13 – You have the right to find out things and to share what you think with others, by talking, drawing, writing or in any other way unless it harms or offends other people.
Right No.14 – You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs. Your parents should help you decide what is right and wrong, and what is best for you.
Right No.15 – You have the right to choose your own friends and join and set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.
Right No.16 – You have the right to privacy.
Right No.17 – You have the right to get information that is important to your wellbeing, from radio, newspapers, books, computers and other sources. Adults should make sure that the information you are getting is not harmful, and help you find and understand the information you need.
Right No.18 – You have the right to be raised by your parents if possible.
Right No.19 – You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
Right No.20 – You have the right to special care and help if you cannot live with your parents.
Right No.21 – You have the right to care and protection if you are adopted or in foster care.
Right No.22 – You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee (if you have been forced to leave your home and live in another country), as well as the rights in the Convention.
Right No.23 – You have the right to special education and care if you have a disability, as well as all the rights in the Convention, so you can live a full life.
Right No.24 – You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
Right No.25 – If you live in care or in other situations away from home, you have the right to have these living arrangements looked at regularly to see if they are the most appropriate.
Right No.26 – You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
Right No.27 – You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so you can’t do many of the things other kids can do.
Right No.28 – You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.
Right No.29 – Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities, it should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
Right No.30 – You have the right to practice your own culture, language and religion – or any you choose. Minority and indigenous groups need special protection of this right.
Right No.31 – You have the right to play and rest.
Right No.32 – You have the right to protection from work that harms you, and is bad for your health and education. If you work, you have the right to be safe and paid fairly.
Right No.33 – You have the right to protection from harmful drugs and from the drug trade.
Right No.34 – You have the right to be free from sexual abuse.
Right No.35 – No one is allowed to kidnap or sell you.
Right No.36 – You have the right to protection from any kind of exploitation (being taken advantage of).
Right No.37 – No one is allowed to punish you in a cruel or harmful way.
Right No.38 – You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the armed-forces or take part in war.
Right No.39 – You have the right to help if you’ve been hurt, neglected or badly treated.
Right No.40 – You have the right to legal help and fair treatment in the justice system that respects your rights.
Right No.41 – If the laws of your country provide better protection of your rights than the Articles of rights in the Convention, those laws should apply.
Right No. 42 – You have the right to know your rights! Adults should know about these rights and help you learn about them too.
(Articles 43-54 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child explain how governments and organisations will work to ensure children are protected with their rights).