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A brief summary of children’s rights by babybubble

We are all born with rights – but we all start out not knowing them. Children’s rights are something we can learn at a fairly young age.

If we don’t know our rights, how can we claim them?

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child lists what all children in the world should have the right to. Below, you will find a summary for you as a parent, as well as list used for pre-school-children in Sweden (age 1-6) that you may also use when discussing children’s rights with your children.

SUMMARY FOR PARENTS of the Rights of a Child (source: UNICEF)
  1. Every person under the age of 18 is considered a child.
  2. All children are equally valuable and have the same rights. No one may be discriminated against.
  3. In all decisions concerning children, what is judged to be in the best interest of the child must be taken into account in the first instance.
  4. Every state must take responsibility for and use its resources to the full to fulfill children’s rights. Where necessary, states must cooperate internationally.
  5. The child’s parents or other guardian are responsible for the child’s upbringing and development. They must also support the child in having their rights fulfilled.
  6. Children have the right to life, survival and development.
  7. Children have the right to their own name and citizenship. The child has the right, as far as possible, to know who their parents are and to receive their care.
  8. Children have the right to their identity, their citizenship, their name and their family relationships.
  9. Children should not be separated from their parents, except when necessary for the child’s best interests.
  10. Children have the right to be reunited with their family if the family has been split up.
  11. Every state must combat the unlawful abduction and detention of children abroad.
  12. Children have the right to express their opinion and be heard in all matters concerning the child. Consideration must be given to the child’s views, based on the child’s age and maturity.
  13. Children have the right to freedom of expression; to think, and to express their opinions, with respect for other people’s rights.
  14. Children have the right to practice whatever religion they want, or none at all.
  15. Children have the right to participate in associations and peaceful assemblies.
  16. Children have the right to privacy.
  17. Children have the right to access information via, for example, the internet, radio and television. The state must encourage the creation of material that is of value to children and that is not harmful.
  18. The child’s parents or guardians have joint primary responsibility for the child’s upbringing and development, with the support of the state.
  19. Children must be protected from any previous physical or mental violence, harm, abuse, neglect or exploitation, including sexual abuse.
  20. Children who, for various reasons, cannot remain in their home environment have the right to protection and support from the state, as well as the right to an alternative home.
  21. In the case of adoption, the state must give the greatest weight to what is judged to be in the best interest of the child.
  22. Refugee children have the right to protection, and help to trace and find their parents or other family members.
  23. Children with disabilities have the right to a full and decent life and help to actively participate in society.
  24. Children have the right to the best possible health, access to healthcare and rehabilitation. Traditional practices that are harmful to children’s health must be abolished.
  25. Each state must regularly ensure that a child in the care of authorities is well treated.
  26. Children have the right to social security and to state support, if parents or other guardians lack sufficient resources.
  27. Children have the right to a reasonable standard of living, for example housing, clothing and food.
  28. Children have the right to education. Primary school must be compulsory, free of charge and accessible to all.
  29. The school must help the child develop and teach the child about human rights.
  30. Children who belong to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, or who belong to an indigenous people, have the right to their language, culture and religion.
  31. Children have the right to play, rest and leisure.
  32. Children have the right to protection against economic exploitation and against work that is harmful or that hinders the child’s schooling.
  33. Children must be protected from drugs.
  34. Children must be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.
  35. Every state shall prevent the abduction and sale of, or trafficking in, children.
  36. Each state shall protect children from all other priors of exploitation that may harm the child.
  37. Children shall not be subjected to torture, other cruel treatment, punishment or the death penalty. Deprivation of a child’s liberty must be in accordance with the law and may only be used as a last resort and for the shortest possible time.
  38. Each state must ensure the protection and care of children affected by an armed conflict.
  39. Children who have been subjected to neglect, exploitation, abuse, torture or armed conflict have the right to rehabilitation and social reintegration.
  40. Children who are accused of a crime, or have been convicted of a criminal act, have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully, to receive legal support and to be reintegrated into society.
  41. If there are regulations in a state that go further for children’s rights than the content of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, those regulations apply.
  42. Each state must make the Convention on the Rights of the Child widely known among both adults and children.

43-45. Rules on how the Convention on the Rights of the Child is followed up and what the state must do to comply with it.
46-54. Rules on how those who decide in the countries must do to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

SUMMARY FOR CHILDREN (Swedish pre-school selection)

2. All children are equally valuable and have the same rights.

3. The child’s best interests must come first in all decisions concerning children.

6. All children have the right to life, survival and development.

7. Every child has the right to a name of their own, a citizenship and to know their origin.

12. Every child has the right to express their opinion and to be heard in all matters concerning the child. The child’s opinion must be respected.

13. Every child has the right to freedom of speech; to think, have opinions and express them.

14. All children have the right to believe in whatever god they want, or none at all.

16. Every child’s right to privacy must be respected.

17. Every child has the right to access information via, for example, the internet, radio and TV.

19. Every child has the right to be protected from physical or psychological violence and abuse.

22. A refugee child have the right to protection and help to find his parents.

23. A child with a disability has the right to help to participate in society on equal terms.

24. Every child has the right to good health and the right to healthcare.

26. Every child has the right to social security, and help if the parents, for example, have little money.

27. Every child has the right to a home, clothes, food and clean water.

28. Every child has the right to education. Primary school must be free.

29. The school must help the child develop and learn about human rights.

30. A child who belongs to a minority or indigenous population has the right to its language, culture and religion.

31. Every child has the right to play, rest and leisure.

42. All children have the right to find out what is stated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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