20 Fundamental Rights of Children

The rights of children are legal norms that aim at the comprehensive protection of all children and young people under 18 years of age.

These rights were recognized as of 1924, when the League of Nations approved the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Child.

Since then, the importance of children having the necessary resources for their full development, having access to education, enjoying economic freedoms, among other rights, has been highlighted.

These rights seek to guarantee the protection of children until they have the physical, intellectual and moral conditions that allow them to integrate harmoniously into social coexistence.

What are the rights of children?

Below are the fundamental rights of children accompanied by a brief explanation.

1. Right to life

We all have the right to life from the moment we are born. This is one of the most important rights there is, and no person should be deprived of this right.

2. Right to identity

All children and adolescents have the right to have a name and surname that legally identifies them, both in their country of birth and in any other place in the world. They must even have a civil registry that allows them to obtain their nationality and know their origin.

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3. Right to live with family

All children and adolescents have the right to belong to a family, have a home and grow up with their parents and relatives in a space where they are loved and respected. The family is the main nucleus of society and where the main values ​​of life are learned.

4. Right to equality

All human beings are equal before the law and must be treated with respect, dignity and equal opportunities.

5. Right to health and adequate medical attention

Children and adolescents have the right to receive free medical care and to be assisted in health centers to guarantee their well-being and carry out medical treatments.

6. Right to education

The State must guarantee that all children and adolescents have access to free and quality education so that they can develop their capacities in an integral way. Education must promote values ​​such as solidarity, respect and friendship.

7. Right to food

All children must be guaranteed a balanced and healthy diet for their optimal physical and mental development. For example, in schools, students have the right to eat a balanced diet.

8. Right to a life free of violence

Children and adolescents have the right to have a life free of violence and where their integrity is guaranteed. When minors grow up in safe spaces, they can better develop their personality.

9. Right to live in conditions of well-being

Children and adolescents have the right to live, enjoy and know various free spaces such as forests, fields, beaches, parks that are free of garbage, pollution or danger. Recreation spaces favor the full development of children.

10. Right not to be discriminated against

All children and adolescents must be treated with respect and without distinction based on their nationality, skin color, religion, gender, age, economic condition, disability or opinion. It is important to take into account the particular needs of each child and attend to them in order to integrate them in the best way into society.

11. Right to rest, play and recreation

Children and adolescents have the right to rest, play with other children, carry out recreational activities, sports and enjoy outdoor spaces that guarantee their integral development.

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12. Right to freedom of thought, religion and culture

All children and adolescents have the right to be heard when they want to express what they think, say what they like or do not like and give their opinion.

Children also have the right to enjoy and learn from their culture, to practice a religion and to be part of a social organization.

13. Right to privacy

Minors have the right to personal privacy. In other words, your personal data and your private and family life must not be disclosed illegally, as these actions may threaten the well-being of children.

Children and adolescents have the right to enjoy special protection that allows them to grow, physically and mentally, free from any act of violence or discrimination.

The authorities have the duty to guarantee legal or administrative procedures for the benefit of minors so that they can grow up in freedom and develop their moral, ethical and social principles.

15. Right to care and help in case of danger

Children and adolescents must be alerted to any dangerous situation that puts their life or well-being at risk. It is a responsibility of parents, representatives, educators or any person who sees a risk situation. In any dangerous circumstance, children must receive help and protection.

16. Right to be protected against abandonment

Children and adolescents must be protected against any type of abandonment, exploitation or act of cruelty. Children must not work before reaching the stipulated age for it. Nor should they be allowed to carry out any type of activity that endangers their health and integral development.

17. Right to freedom of expression

Children and adolescents have the right to express and make their opinions known, participate and have access to information that allows them to develop their skills and expand their knowledge. Children’s opinion is important, as it broadens the possibility of understanding various situations.

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18. Right to be a migrant

Children and adolescents who are in a migratory situation or are refugees must be protected by special measures regardless of their nationality or origin.

19. Right to special care for children with disabilities

Children or adolescents with disabilities must have special aid and protection that allow them to improve their quality of life and develop fully in society.

20. Right of access to information and communication technologies

Children and adolescents must have access to information and communication technologies as part of their educational and integral formation process of society. These technologies allow them to inform themselves, communicate with other people and learn to use technological tools.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

The Children’s rights convention It is an international treaty approved by the United Nations General Assembly in November 1989.

This Convention is the first treaty to recognize, guarantee and establish that both children and adults have the same rights. In other words, both governments, families and other entities must guarantee that children are protected and enjoy good treatment.

This Convention highlights a set of specific rights for the protection of children in any circumstance considering that, due to their mental and physical condition, children require greater protection.

The text contains 54 articles in which children’s rights are enshrined, and the adhering States have the obligation and responsibility to enforce such rights.

History of children’s rights

Children’s rights were recognized as of 1924 when the League of Nations approved the Geneva Declaration on the Rights of the Childmade by Eglantyne Jebb.

Starting in 1959, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the Declaration of the rights of the childrecognizing the right to education, health, care, among others.

But, it was in 1989 that children’s rights were concretized as such with the approval of the Children’s rights convention. This document establishes the minimum rights that must be guaranteed to all minors in any circumstance. Since then, the rights of the child have been the subject of discussion, compliance and protection at the international level.

See also:

  • Human rights.
  • Fundamental rights.