For parents

The role of parents in enforcing children's human rights

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (the CRC) is the only international instrument that specifically applies to children. The CRC includes an international recognition that the world´s children need special protection beyond adults. It recognises that children are autonomous individuals with full rights regardless of the rights of adults. All those involved in the affairs of children should make every effort to implement the Convention. This refers to governments, parents, schools and all others who work with children or for children.

Parents should ensure their children's welfare. They must ensure that the child has adequate shelter, food and clothing and that he/she/it generally has favorable developmental conditions. Parents should take care of their child and show them care and respect and protect them from all kinds of mental and physical violence and other disrespectful behavior.

Parents should make every effort to inform their children about their rights and responsibilities. An important part of this is to introduce them to the content and emphasis of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Prior to the legalisation of the CRC, the Icelandic state was obliged to comply with the provisions of the Convention, but it was seldom cited in resolutions of cases before the government and the courts, and there were examples of judgments that were in direct conflict with its provisions. The legislation was therefore important to ensure its application in practice and direct legal effect.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child contains extensive rights and provides for the protection of fundamental human rights of children, such as the right to life and the right to privacy and family life.