Themes » Meaningful Youth Participation » Children's Rights

The rights of the child are specific rights to protect all young people under 18. Children are entitled to these rights to protect their more vulnerable position in society and to give their position special attention. A person younger than 18 years old is protected by human rights and children’s rights.


Children’s rights are important because:

  • They recognize the right to meaningful participation of youth on policies and programmes that concern them.

  • They make sure children can reach their full potential, by having access to education, health care (reproductive rights), participate in society, have access to (sexuality) information, etc.

  • They protect children from violence and abuse.

  • They ensure mutual respect amongst children, but also within their relations with adults, to develop respectful behaviour and attitudes towards others.


History of children's rights

The rights of the child were adopted through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1989 and recognize the economic, social and cultural rights of children. It is an international treaty, which has been signed by all countries in the world, except for the USA and South-Sudan.

There are 42 rights listed under the convention of the rights of the child! Our friends at Plan international created a youth-friendly poster that lists them all. Have a look! They range from the right to information, to the right to protection, to live free from abuse etc. 



Have a look at what rights children have. Write examples for each one of how these rights play an important role in your daily life or in your community!