For Children & Youth

Know your rights

The Convention on the Rights of the Child

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Youth in action

 

Know your rights

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-0151/Kamber
A Somali girl carries firewood on her back at a camp for persons displaced by the drought, in the town of Wajid in the southern Bakool Region, Somalia.

As a child or young person under the age of 18, you have specific rights, no matter where you live, whether you are a boy or a girl or what you believe in. Children need specific rights beyond the human rights which apply to every human being, for example the right to education or to protection from abuse and harm. In order to strengthen the fulfillment of your rights, governments in 1989 signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Convention was designed to help countries, communities and families create a world where all children can survive and grow up healthy, a world where they are respected and encouraged to participate in decisions that affect them. This vision promotes a world of peace, tolerance, equality, and respect for human rights — in short, a world fit for children.

Further to this, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) addressed specific situations and problems which are common in parts of Africa, such as early marriage or traditional harmful practices like female genital mutilation (FGM). The African Charter was adopted by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1990, which in 2001 became the African Union (AU).

Both treaties contain your rights, and you should learn more about them — after all, if you don’t know what your rights are, how will you know if they are being fulfilled? This section has all important information about children’s rights to make sure that these rights are recognized and respected by others.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0231/Cranston
Two small children huddle together during a rain storm at a temporary camp, where 18,000 people, displaced by the 2007/8 post-election violence, have sought refuge, in the town of Eldoret, Rift Valley Province, Kenya.

Learn more:

What are your rights? Read about the Convention on the Rights of the Child to find out.

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child was designed specifically to address the issues affecting children in Africa. (This would link to the section on the ACRWC).

Want to know how children’s rights have improved over the last 20 years? Check out UNICEF’s new CRC 20 website for youth-friendly news and information on achievements to date, as well as the many challenges ahead.

Now that you know your rights, find out ways you can help to protect those rights, both for yourself, and for children worldwide. Visit UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website to learn more about the issues, speak with your peers about solutions, and to find ways to take action.

 

 

 

 

Know more about your rights

Read about the Convention on the Rights of the Child to find out what your rights are.

The African Charter was designed specifically to address the issues affecting children in Africa.

Check out UNICEF’s new CRC 20 website for youth-friendly news and information.

Visit UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website to learn more about the issues concerning you, and to find ways to take action.


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