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Other Rights

As well as these guiding principles, the following rights are also relevant:

The right to the best possible health care (article 24), both in helping young people to avoid infection and in taking care of them if they are HIV-positive.

The right to an education (article 28). Education plays a vital role in providing young people with the information and skills they need to act safely and protect themselves from getting HIV. By providing accurate information and building awareness, it can also help prevent negative attitudes towards people living with HIV. Education is also relevant because many children who have lost one or both parents as a result of AIDS, or whose parents are HIV-positive, may not be able to go to school because they have to work or care for their parents and/or their younger brothers and sisters.

The right to be protected from kidnapping, child trafficking (the illegal buying and selling of children), violence, and from sexual abuse and exploitation (articles 34, 19 and 35 plus the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography). Children who are sexually abused and exploited are at high risk of becoming infected with HIV because they are often not in a position to control with whom and when they have sex, and whether a condom is used.

The right to obtain and share information (article 13) about the disease, and the right to accurate information from sources such as newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet (article 17) as well as parents, teachers, health-care providers, and other young people.

The right to privacy (article 16). Health and social workers should not tell others of a child or young person's HIV-positive status or disclose anything else about their life or health.

The right to remain with their parents if possible, whether or not a child or a young person or their family members have HIV and AIDS (article 7). A child or a young person should not be separated from their brothers and sisters if one or both of their parents die. Preferably they should be looked after by family members or relatives (article 9).

The right to suitable alternative care if necessary (article 20). A child or a young person has the right to be properly looked after by foster parents, for example, or in an orphanage, if their own family or relatives cannot look after them.

The right to have their birth officially registered (article 7). This is crucial to various other rights, in particular to the right to education and health care. Birth registration also makes a child less vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, particularly if they are separated from their family by illness or death.

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