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Version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The aim of the Convention is to set standards for the
defence of children against the neglect and abuse they
face to varying degrees in all countries every day. It is
careful to allow for the different cultural, political
and material realities among states. The most important
consideration is the best interest of the child. The
rights set out in the Convention can be broadly grouped
in three sections:
Provision: the right to possess, receive or have access
to certain things or services (e.g. a name and a
nationality, health care, education, rest and play and
care for disabled and orphans).
Protection: the right to be shielded from harmful acts
and practices (e.g. separation from parents, engagement
in warfare, commercial or sexual exploitation and
physical and mental abuse).
Participation: The child's right to be heard on decisions
affecting his or her life. As abilities progress, the
child should have increasing opportunities to take part
in the activities of society, as a preparation for adult
life (e.g. freedom of speech and opinion, culture,
religion and language.
Article 1: Definition of the child
Every human being below 18 years unless majority is
attained earlier according to the law applicable to the
Article 2: Non discrimination
All rights must be granted to each child without
exception. The State must protect the child without
exception. The State must protect the child against all
forms of discriminations.
Article 3: Best interests of the child
In all actions concerning children, the best interest of
the child shall be the major consideration.
Article 4: Implementation of rights
The obligation on the State to ensure that the rights in
the Convention are implemented.
Article 5: Parents, family, community rights and
States are to respect the parents and family in their
child rearing function.
Article 6: Life, survival and development
The right of the child to life and the state's obligation
to ensure the child's survival and development.
Article 7: Name and nationality
The right from birth to a name, to acquire a nationality
and to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
Article 8: Preservation of identity
The obligation of the State to assist the child in
reestablishing identity if this has been illegally
Article 9: Non-separation from parents
The right of the child to retain contact with his parents
in cases of separation. If separation is the result of
detention, imprisonment or death the State shall provide
the information to the child or parents about the
whereabouts of the missing family member.
Article 10: Family reunification
Requests to leave or enter country for family
reunification shall be dealt with in a human manner. A
child has the right to maintain regular contacts with
both parents when these live in different States.
Article 11: Illicit transfer and non-return of children
The State shall combat child kidnapping by a partner or
Article 12: Expression of opinion
The right of the child to express his or her opinion and
to have this taken into consideration.
Article 13: Freedom of expression and information
The right to seek, receive and impart information in
various forms, including art, print, writing.
Article 14: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
States are to be respect the rights and duties of parents
to provide direction to the child in the exercise of this
right in accordance with the child's evolving capacities.
Article 15: Freedom of association
The child's right to freedom of association and peaceful
Article 16: Privacy, honour, reputation
No child shall be subjected to interference with privacy,
family, home or correspondence.
Article 17: Access to information and media
The child shall have access to information from a
diversity of sources; due attention shall be paid to
minorities and guidelines to protect children from
harmful material shall be encouraged.
Article 18: Parental responsibility
Both parents have common responsibilities for the
upbringing of the child and assistance shall be given to
them in the performance of the parental responsibilities.
Article 19: Abuse and neglect (while in family or care)
States have the obligation to protect children from all
forms of abuse. Social programmes and support services
shall be made available.
Article 20: Alternative care for children in the absence
The entitlement of the child to alternative care with
national laws and the obligation on the State to pay due
regard to continuity in the child's religious, cultural,
linguistic or ethnic background in the provision of
Article 21: Adoption
States are to ensure that only authorised bodies carry
out adoption. Inter-country adoption may be considered if
national solutions have been exhausted.
Article 22: Refugee children
Special protection is to be given to refugee children.
States shall cooperate with international agencies to
this end and also to reunite children separated from the
Article 23: Disabled children
The right to benefit from special care and education for
a fuller life in society.
Article 24: Health care
Access to preventive and curative health care services as
well as the gradual abolition of traditional practices
harmful to the child.
Article 25: Periodic review
The child who is placed for care, protection or treatment
has the right to have the placement reviewed on a regular
Article 26: Social security
The child's right to social security
Article 27: Standard of living
Parental responsibility to provide adequate living
conditions for the child's development even when one of
the parents is living in a country other than the child's
place of residence.
Article 28: Education
The right to free primary education, the availability of
vocational educating, and the need for measures to reduce
the drop-out rates.
Article 29: Aims of education
Education should foster the development of the child's
personality and talents, preparation for a responsible
adult life, respect for human rights as well as the
cultural and national values of the child's country and
that of others.
Article 30: Children of minorities and indigenous
The right of the child belonging to a minority or
indigenous group to enjoy his or her culture, to practise
his or her own language.
Article 31: Play and recreation
The right of the child to play, recreational activities
and to participate in cultural and artistic life.
Article 32: Economic exploitation
The right of the child to protection against harmful
forms of work and against exploitation.
Article 33: Narcotic and psychotic substances
Protection of the child from their illicit use and the
utilisation of the child in their production and
Article 34: Sexual exploitation
Protection of the child from sexual exploitation
including prostitution and the use of children in
Article 35: Abduction, sale and traffic
State obligation to prevent the abduction, sale of or
traffic in children.
Article 36: Other forms of exploitation
Article 37: Torture, capital punishment, deprivation of
Obligation of the State vis-a-vis children in detention.
Article 38: Armed conflicts
Children under 15 years are not to take a direct part in
hostilities. No recruitment of children under 15.
Article 39: Recovery and reintegration
State obligations for the reeducation and social
reintegration of child victims of exploitation, torture
or armed conflicts.
Article 40: Juvenile justice
Treatment of child accused of infringing the penal law
shall promote the child's sense of dignity.
Article 41: Rights of the child in other instruments
Article 42: Dissemination of the Convention
The state's duty to make the convention known to adults
Article 43-54: Implementation
These paragraphs provide for a Committee on the Rights of
the Child to oversee implementation of the Convention.
The titles of articles are for ease of reference only.
They do not form part of the adopted text. (UNICEF - UK)
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