Raising Awareness of Children’s Rights

children rights

Across the globe children suffer abuse, neglect and exploitation every day. Children have different vulnerabilities to adults and must be protected from harm in particular ways. This is why it’s essential for governments to enact laws and policies that are child-friendly. It is also important to educate all children about their rights so they are empowered to defend themselves. This is why we work to raise awareness of children’s rights through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action.

Children everywhere deserve the same opportunities to thrive, to grow up safe and healthy and to participate in their families, communities and societies. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out these basic human rights and is one of the most widely ratified international treaties with 196 signatory countries.

The CRC reaffirms and expands on human rights that are universally recognised as being inherent to all persons, with additional protections that are specific to children. These include a right to education, the highest standard of health care and treatment, and the right to be protected from violence and harmful practices such as early marriage, trafficking in children and sexual abuse. It also outlines a wide range of other rights unique to children, including the right to freedom of expression (Article 19), and a right to participation in judicial proceedings that affect them directly or through their representatives (Article 23).

Moreover, the CRC provides for the development of special measures to combat specific types of exploitation such as the sale of children, harmful child labour, and the involvement of children in armed conflict. It also establishes a complaints mechanism to address violations of the CRC and its Optional Protocols.

The CRC also recognizes that children have a right to enjoy and develop their own culture, religion, language and ethnicity. This is reflected in the right to participation in cultural activities and art that promote their identity, including a right to express themselves freely in artistic works. Children should be free from art that is designed to traumatize, provoke or disturb them and to have access to art that is controversial or unpopular, without fear of censorship. Furthermore, children should be protected from discrimination and should not be subjected to any form of racial or ethnic persecution or be denied their freedom of movement. In addition, the CRC requires States to provide adequate funding and resources to assist children who have been victims of harm, so that they can regain their health, dignity and sense of self-worth. This is especially important for children who have been displaced by armed conflicts or natural disasters, or who are separated from their parents.