Children’s Rights at World Vision

The rights of children are enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), a landmark treaty that governments sign up to, agreeing to work towards realising the best possible outcomes for every child. The UNCRC lists 54 articles that cover a wide range of topics, from parental guidance and survival to development, nationality, identity, freedom of expression, education and healthcare.

All governments that are signatories to the UNCRC are obliged to uphold these rights, and it’s important that children and adults understand their rights and know how to claim them. At World Vision we are committed to the full realisation of children’s rights, and work across 90 countries to improve the lives of vulnerable children.

Children have a right to adequate food, safe housing and medical care. These basic requirements are necessary for a minimum standard of life, to enable them to develop their potential and live healthy, active lives. Children are also entitled to a quality education that allows them to realise their full personality, talents and abilities and respects their cultures, languages and beliefs. Children should also be protected from all forms of exploitation and abuse, including the sale of children, harmful child labour, female infanticide, sex trafficking, the use of children as weapons in armed conflict and child pornography. Children should be treated fairly in the justice system and prison should never be a first option, but only as a last resort.

Throughout the world today, children and young people are using their right to peacefully protest to call for climate change action, racial equality, and more. But too often their voices are ignored, stereotyped or dismissed. At World Vision we believe that children and young people should be able to voice their opinions and be listened to, but we also want to ensure they are safe, supported and protected. That’s why we are working to create safe and inclusive spaces where children and young people can express their views and be listened to without fear of discrimination or harm.

Children have a right to be informed about their rights, but too often they aren’t taught about them at school. This ignorance puts them at risk of being abused or exploited. At World Vision, we are committed to teaching kids about their rights, and working with partners like Amnesty International and Angelina Jolie to produce a free online children’s rights course. We also support efforts to promote awareness of children’s rights, and work with communities to make sure that children and their families have access to education and advocacy services. This includes working with children’s advocates in the justice system to ensure that their views are taken into account in legal proceedings. It’s time for all of us to join forces to protect and uphold children’s rights. Together, we can build a future where no child is left behind.