The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a human rights treaty which was adopted in 1989, and which outlines the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. Like CEDAW, the CRC is a legally binding document, and compliance to the convention is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Countries that have ratified the CRC are expected to submit periodic reports detailing the situation of children’s rights in the country, as well as progress made towards the local implementation of the CRC. The CRC has three optional protocols: the first restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts; the second prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography; and the third which allows children to file complaints when their rights have been violated.

The CRC is considered a ground-breaking document which changed the way that children and adolescents are viewed and treated – instead of passive objects of care or even as possessions, they began to be seen as active agents and human beings with their own rights.