Monday, 6 December 2010
United Nations Children's Rights
What is the UNCRC?
All children and young people up to the age of 18 years have all the rights in the Convention. Some groups of children and young people - for example those living away from home, and young disabled people - have additional rights to make sure they are treated fairly and their needs are met.
The UK ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) on 16 December 1991. That means the UK government now has to make sure that every child has all the rights outlined in the treaty except in those areas where the government has entered a specific reservation.
A convention is an agreement between countries to obey the same law. When the government of a country ratifies a convention, that means it agrees to obey the rules set out in that convention.
What the treaty means
From 15 January 1992, when the treaty came into force, every child in the UK has been entitled to over 40 specific rights. These include:
• the right to life, survival and development
• the right to have their views respected, and to have their best interests considered at all times
• the right to a name and nationality, freedom of expression, and access to information concerning them
• the right to live in a family environment or alternative care, and to have contact with both parents wherever possible
• health and welfare rights, including rights for disabled children, the right to health and health care, and social security
• the right to education, leisure, culture and the arts
• special protection for refugee children, children in the juvenile justice system, children deprived of their liberty and children suffering economic, sexual or other forms of exploitation
The rights included in the convention apply to all children and young people, with no exceptions.
For more detailed information on the treaty and the rights included in it, and to find out the reservations entered by each country, click on the link below.