About the CRC

About the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC or CRC) includes international recognition that the world's children need special protection beyond adults. It confirms that children are autonomous individuals with full and independent 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 the government, parents, schools and all others who work with children or for children.

Articles 1-41 of the CRC deal with factual rules covering the human rights of children. Children's rights can be divided into three parts; protection, provision and participation.

The right of all children to life and freedom of expression, opinion and religion, the right to privacy and family life.

The right of all children to have access to health care, access to education and opportunities for social development.

The right of all children to express their views on all matters affecting them, in one way or another. The views of children shall be taken into account in accordance with their age and maturity.

All the rights provided for in the CRC are important. However, there are four articles of the CRC that contain fundamental principles that are a common thread throughout the Charter and link together its various provisions. If other provisions of the CRC conflict with each other regarding their interpretation, it is especially important to keep these basic principles in mind.

The four articles are the following:

Article 2: All children are equal
All children have all the rights included in the CRC, no matter who they are, where they live, what language they speak, what their religion is, what they think, what they look like, if they are a boy or girl, if they have a disability, if they are rich or poor, and no matter who their parents or families are or what their parents or families believe or do. No child should be treated unfairly for any reason.

Article 3: Best interests of the child
When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. All adults should do what is best for children. Governments should make sure children are protected and looked after by their parents, or by other people when this is needed. Governments should make sure that people and places responsible for looking after children are doing a good job.

Article 6: Life, survival and development
Every child has the right to be alive. Governments must make sure that children survive and develop in the best possible way.

Article 12: Respect for children's views
Children have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously.

Articles 42-45 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child deal with the implementation of the Convention. The Committee on the Rights of the Child is a committee that monitors the compliance of the member states of the Convention. The committee is composed of experts elected by the member states. The States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child regularly report on the implementation of the Convention in that State.