Commerce / Geography lessons / Global Education

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

“Australian children are entitled, not only to the same human rights as everyone else, but further that they are entitled to special rights which take account of their youthfulness and vulnerability. This is under international jurisdiction.” (9Co7 student responses to this question: Explain why Australian young people are protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?  What legal jurisdiction is this?)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. 

For an overview of CROC watch the 20 years of CROC video from the UNICEF website  http://www.unicef.org

Although the Convention has 54 articles in all, it is guided by four fundamental principles.

  • Non-discrimination (article 2): You should neither benefit nor suffer because of your race, colour, gender, language, religion, or national, social or ethnic origin, or because of any political or other opinion; because of your caste, property or birth status; or because you are disabled.
  • The best interests of the child (article 3): Laws and actions affecting children should put your best interests first and benefit you in the best possible way.
  • Survival, development and protection (article 6): The authorities in your country must protect you and help ensure your full development – physical, spiritual, moral and social.
  • Participation (article 12): You have a right to have your say in decisions that affect you, and to have you opinions taken into account. (Source UNICEF website retrieved June 2010)

This video is one youth’s response to the right that to have a say in decision that affect you and have your opinions taken into account

For information on Australia’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, please see this website What\’s Up CROC?

For a full list

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