Convention on the Rights of the Child

For every child, every right

A girl writes on the blackboard during a Dari class inside a mosque that serves as a community-based school, in Kamar Kalagh, a village on the outskirts of the north-western city of Herat. Dari is the Afghan dialect of the Persian, or Farsi, language.
UNICEF/UNI47978/Noorani

Thirty years ago, world leaders made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement on childhood. 

It’s become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and has helped transform children’s lives around the world. 

But still, not every child gets to enjoy a full childhood. Still, too many childhoods are cut short. 

It is up to our generation to demand that leaders from government, business and communities fulfil their commitments and take action for child rights now, once and for all. They must commit to making sure every child, has every right.

Read and download the Convention on the Rights of the Child -- the most widely ratified human rights treaty 

We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination 

How many countries have ratified the Convention? How does the Convention define "child"? 

International standards on child rights have advanced dramatically over the past century -- explore the milestones 

My rights, my story

Child rights experiences from across South Asia

21-year-old Afa has seen her island home suffer at the hands of urbanisation and pollution. But she couldn’t just stand by and watch, so she decided to fight for her right to a clean environment.

When Thayalen’s parents died, he was absent from school more and more. But after his right to education was defended, he got the opportunity he deserves to grow, learn and develop to his fullest potential.

15-year-old Tashi doesn’t want any child to face mental or physical harm in her school. She’s now empowering students to stand up and speak out for their right to protection.

Lack of access to a nearby, safe water supply meant Raess and Umair were often late for school and had little time to learn, play and rest. But life is so much better now because they’ve finally got a right they were promised: the right to clean water.

16-year-old Madina won't let bombs and explosions stop her from getting an education. It's too important to her. And it's her right as a child.

Chandi is proud of her Garo traditions and is determined to keep them alive. By dancing and singing, she's teaching others about her culture.

Althaf is often pressured to earn income to support his family, but he refuses. Instead, he goes to school, because he knows education is a right that cannot be taken from him. Now, he's helping to get other boys out of work and back into the classroom.

Jaya from Nepal grew up in a community where many children didn't go to school. He knew that disadvantaged groups missed out most and they often didn't know that education was their right. So with the help of his youth club, he set out to get them back in the classroom.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sachin Tendulkar stands up for children’s rights

Let us put children back on the agenda

Sign the petition to call on world leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child and acknowledge that these rights are non-negotiable.