Children have the right to know their rights.
Adults should know about these rights and help children learn about them, too.
We all know we have rights, but do we know which ones they are?? and do we treat each other in this way?? Knowing about them is truly fundamental so we can live in accordance and harmony with each other.
In 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was written; then the Declaration of the Rights of the Child specified a series of principles for children; and this was the basis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the UN General Assembly 30 years later on 20 November 1989, and entered into force on 2 September 1990, and this document is a binding treaty between 176 nations.
We have included below, the Declaration of the Rights of a Child and a “child-friendly” version of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, provided by Unicef, so parents and children can read and learn about them together!
Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959)
“Whereas the United Nations has, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), proclaimed that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth therein, without distinction of any kind…
“Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth…
“Whereas mankind owes to the child the best it has to give,
“Now therefore, The General Assembly proclaims this Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) to the end that he may have a happy childhood and enjoy for his own good and for the good of society the rights and freedoms herein set forth, and calls upon parents, upon men and women as individuals, and upon voluntary organizations, local authorities and national Governments to recognize these rights and strive for their observance by legislative and other measures progressively taken in accordance with the following principles:
The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.
The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.
The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.
The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.
The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.
The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society. The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents.
The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.
The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.
The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.
The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case becaused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.
The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men.
UN Convention on the Rights of a Child
20 November 1989
Everyone under 18 has these rights.
All children have these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, whether they are rich or poor. No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children.
The government has a responsibility to make sure your rights are protected. They must help your family to protect your rights and create an environment where you can grow and reach your potential.
Your family has the responsibility to help you learn to exercise your rights, and to ensure that your rights are protected.
You have the right to be alive.
You have the right to a name, and this should be officially recognized by the government. You have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country).
You have the right to an identity – an official record of who you are. No one should take this away from you.
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.
If you live in a different country than your parents do, you have the right to be together in the same place.
You have the right to be protected from kidnap- ping.
You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously.
You have the right to find out things and share what you think with others, by talking, drawing, writing or in any other way unless it harms or offends other people.
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.
You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.
You have the right to privacy.
You have the right to get information that is important to your well-being, from radio, news- paper, 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.
You have the right to be raised by your parent(s) if possible.
You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
You have the right to special care and help if you cannot live with your parents.
You have the right to care and protection if you are adopted or in foster care.
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 all the rights in this Convention.
You have the right to special education and care if you have a disability, as well as all the rights in this Convention, so that you can live a full life.
You have the right to the best health care pos- sible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
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.
You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
You have the right to food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so that you can’t do many of the things other kids can do.
You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.
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.
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.
You have the right to play and rest.
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.
You have the right to protection from harmful drugs and from the drug trade.
You have the right to
be free from sexual abuse.Article 35No one is allowed to kidnap or sell you.
You have the right to protection from any kind of exploitation (being taken advantage of).
No one is allowed to punish you in a cruel or harmful way.
You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.
You have the right to help if you’ve been hurt, neglected or badly treated.
You have the right to legal help and fair treatment in the justice system that respects your rights.
If the laws of your country provide better protection of your rights than the articles in this Convention, those laws should apply.
You have the right to know your rights! Adults should know about these rights and help you learn about them, too.
Articles 43 to 54
These articles explain how governments and international organizations like UNICEF will work to ensure children are protected with their rights.
To Read the complete “Convention on the Rights of the Child” go to ->> http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/UN-convention/
To Read the complete “Declaration of the Rights of the Child” go to ->> http://www.unicef.org/malaysia/1959-Declaration-of-the-Rights-of-the-Child.pdf