Children's Rights

What rights do children have?

Every child has the right to be safe, grow, play and learn.  Rights are things every child should have or be able to do.

All children have the same rights, no matter who they are, who their family is, what abilities they have, the religion they follow or language they speak.

In England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales there are children’s commissioners who work to protect children’s rights.

What is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

The UNCRC is a human rights treaty.  It is an agreement between nearly all the countries in the world that sets out the rights of a child or young person.   Everyone has human rights.  As a child or young person, you have other rights too and these are listed in the UNCRC.

The UNCRC is made up of 54 numbered statements known as ‘articles’ that cover all aspects of a child’s life.

These rights cannot be taken away from you, one right is not more important than another and they are connected.  You need all of them to be enacted to live a happy and healthy life.

“We owe our children – the most vulnerable citizens in any society – a life free from violence and fear.”

Nelson Mandela.

What rights do you think are included in the UNCRC?

The illustrations produced by Child Rights International Network show each of the articles within the UNCRC.  Can you guess which children’s rights are shown in each of the pictures? 

What should adults do?

The UNCRC reminds adults that they have a responsibility to create opportunities for children and young people to freely express their views in all matters affecting them.

Adults must work in the best interests of the child or put another way whatever is best for that individual child.

The UNCRC also says that governments must make sure all people know about children’s rights and what they are.  Do you know what your rights are?

To explore more about children's rights


Alain Serres and Aurelia Fronty, I Have the Right to be a Child, explores what it means to be a child with rights. Audience 4 to 7.

Marcia Williams, Children Who Changed the World: Incredible True Stories About Children’s Rights!  A book about inspirational child activists from across the globe. Audience 8 to 12.

Malala Yousafzai, Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights. Malala’s the remarkable story of how she risked her life for the right to go to school. Audience 8 plus.


To songs created by children and teachers have about children’s rights.


Know Your Rights (UNICEF) is a pack of downloadable materials that introduces key rights principles and the UNCRC.  Audience 11 to 12, but with minor adaptions could be used with younger or older age groups.