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Rights of the Child

Convention Introduction

The Convention on the Rights of the Child : Introduction | Summary | Full text

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish child rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behavious towards children. The Convention is the human rights treaty that came most rapidly into force. Ratified by 187 countries as of 15 April 1996, it is close to being the first such convention to achieve universal ratification.

Among key provisions are:
  • Non-discrimination
    Article 2 requires countries to apply the Convention to each child without discrimination of any kind.

  • Survival and development
    Article 6 affirms that every child has the inherent right to life, and calls on countries to ensure children's survival and development.

  • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
    Article 14 guarantees children the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

  • Abuse and neglect
    Article 19 requires the protection of children from all forms of violence, injury, abuse, neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

  • Health and nutrition
    Article 24 stipulates that children have the right to the highest standard of health care and nutrition available.

  • Standard of living
    Article 27 calls on counties to recognize the right of every child to a standard of living adequate for physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.

  • Child labour
    Article 32 requires that children be protected from work that is exploitative, hazardous or interferes with their education.

  • Sexual exploitation
    Article 34 mandates that children be protected from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, particularly prostitution and pornography.

  • Armed conflicts
    Article 38 provides that States take all feasible measures to ensure the protection and care of children affected by armed conflict. 

updated: 27 July, 2013

Rights of the Child


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