Convention on the Rights of the Child
26 years ago, the world made a promise to children: that we would do everything in our power to protect and promote their rights to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) upholds these rights for all children, everywhere, so they may grow to realise their full potential and contribute towards society and nation building.
Sudan has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in August 1990.
Definition of the child: The convention defines a ‘child’ as person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age of adulthood younger.
Non-discrimination: The Convention applies to all children, whatever their race, religion or abilities; whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from.
Best interest of the child: The best interest of children must be the primary concern in making decisions that may affect them. All adults should do what is best for children.
Protection of right: Governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. When countries ratify the Convention, they agree to review their laws relating to children.
Parental guidance: Governments should respect the rights and responsibilities of families to direct and guide their children so that, as they grow, they learn to use their rights properly.
Survival and development: Children have the right to live. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily.
Registration, name, nationality, care: All children have the right to a legally registered name, officially recognised by the government. Children have the right to a nationality (to belong to a country). Children also have the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their parents.
Preservation of identity: Children have the right to an identity – an official record of who they are.
Separation from parents: Children have the right to live with their parent(s), unless it is bad for them.
Kidnapping: Governments should take steps to stop children being taken out of their own country illegally. This article is particularly concerned with parental abductions.
Respect for the views of the child: When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.
Freedom of expression: Children have the right to get and share information, as long as the information is not damaging to them or others.
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion: Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
Freedom of association: Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as it does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
Right to privacy: Children have a right to privacy.
Access to information; mass media: Children have the right to get information that is important to their health and well-being.
Parental responsibilities; state assistance: Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their children, and should always consider what is best for each child.
Protection from all forms of violence: Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.
Children deprived of family environment: Children who cannot be looked after by their own family have a right to special care and must be looked after properly, by people who respect their ethnic group, religion, culture and language.
Adoption: Children have the right to care and protection if they are adopted or in foster care.
Refugee children: Children have the right to special protection and help if they are refugees.
Children with disabilities: Children who have any kind of disability have the right to special care and support.
Health and health services: Children have the right to good quality health care – the best health care possible – to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help them stay healthy.
Review of treatment in care: Children who are looked after by their local authorities, rather than their parents, have the right to have these living arrangements looked at regularly to see if they are the most appropriate.
Social security: Children – either through their guardians or directly – have the right to help from the government if they are poor or in need.
Adequate standard of living: Children have the right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and mental needs.
Right to education: All children have the right to a primary education, which should be free.
Goals of education: Children’s education should develop each child’s personality, talents and abilities to the fullest.
Children of minorities/indigenous groups: Minority or indigenous children have the right to learn about and practice their own culture, language and religion.
Leisure, play and culture: Children have the right to relax and play.
Child labour: The government should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or their education.
Drug abuse: Governments should use all means possible to protect children from the use of harmful drugs and from being used in the drug trade.
Sexual exploitation: Governments should protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Abduction, sale and trafficking: The government should take all measures possible to make sure that children are not abducted, sold or trafficked.
Other forms of exploitation: Children should be protected from any activity that takes advantage of them or could harm their welfare and development.
Detention and punishment: No one is allowed to punish children in a cruel or harmful way. Children who break the law should not be treated cruelly.
War and armed conflicts: Governments must do everything they can to protect and care for children affected by war. Children under 15 should not be forced or recruited to take part in a war or join the armed forces.
Rehabilitation of child victims: Children who have been neglected, abused or exploited should receive special help to physically and psychologically recover and reintegrate into society.
Juvenile justice: Children who are accused of breaking the law have the right to legal help and fair treatment in a justice system that respects their rights.
Respect for superior national standards: If the laws of a country provide better protection of children’s rights than the articles in this Convention, those laws should apply.
Knowledge of rights: Governments should make the Convention known to adults and children. Adults should help children learn about their rights, too.
Implementation measures): These articles discuss how governments and international organizations like UNICEF should work to ensure children are protected in their rights.