The UN Convention on the
Rights of the Child
This is a simplified version of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It has been signed by 195 countries (every country except The United States of America and South Sudan). The convention has 54 articles in total. Articles 43 – 54 are about how governments and international organisations will work to uphold children's rights.
Our Child and Youth Friendly Communities project is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (full text version). It shows how to move the concept of child rights into action.
Everyone under 18 has all these rights.
You have the right to protection against discrimination. This means that nobody can treat you badly because of your colour, sex or religion, if you speak another language, have a disability, or are rich or poor.
All adults should always do what is best for you.
You have the right to have your rights made a reality by the government.
You have the right to be given guidance by your parents and family.
You have the right to life.
You have the right to have a name and a nationality.
You have the right to an identity.
You have the right to live with your parents, unless it is bad for you.
If you and your parents are living in separate countries, you have the right to get back together and live in the same place.
You should not be kidnapped.
You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.
You have the right to find out things and say what you think, through making art, speaking and writing, unless it breaks the rights of others.
You have the right to think what you like and be whatever religion you want to be, with your parents’ guidance.
You have the right to be with friends and join or set up clubs, unless this breaks the rights of others.
You have the right to a private life. For instance, you can keep a diary that other people are not allowed to see.
You have the right to collect information from the media – radios, newspapers, television, etc – from all around the world. You should also be protected from information that could harm you.
You have the right to be brought up by your parents, if possible.
You have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated.
You have the right to special protection and help if you can’t live with your parents.
You have the right to have the best care for you if you are adopted or fostered or living in care.
You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee. A refugee is someone who has had to leave their country because it is not safe for them to live there.
If you are disabled, either mentally or physically, you have the right to special care and education to help you develop and lead a full life.
You have a right to the best health possible and to medical care and to information that will help you to stay well.
You have the right to have your living arrangements checked regularly if you have to be looked after away from home.
You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
You have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means you should have food, clothes and a place to live.
You have the right to education.
You have the right to education which tries to develop your personality and abilities as much as possible and encourages you to respect other people’s rights and values and to respect the environment.
If you come from a minority group, because of your race, religion or language, you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practice your own religion, and use your own language.
You have the right to play and relax by doing things like sports, music and drama.
You have the right to protection from work that is bad for your health or education.
You have the right to be protected from dangerous drugs.
You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse.
No-one is allowed to kidnap you or sell you.
You have the right to protection from of any other kind of exploitation.
You have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way.
You have a right to protection in times of war. If you are under 15, you should never have to be in an army or take part in a battle.
You have the right to help if you have been hurt, neglected, or badly treated.
You have the right to help in defending yourself if you are accused of breaking the law.
You have the right to any rights in laws in your country or internationally that give you better rights than these.
All adults and children should know about this convention. You have a right to learn about your rights and adults should learn about them too.