United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

Children's Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Children’s rights are central to all aspects of the Rights Respecting School Award and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is used as a framework for the initiative.The CRC is a comprehensive human rights treaty that enshrines specific children’s rights in international law. These rights define universal principles and standards for the status and treatment of children worldwide.

The CRC consists of 54 articles and outlines the fundamental, inalienable rights of every child. The key provisions are: the right to a childhood (including protection from harm), the right to be educated (including all girls and boys completing primary school), the right to be healthy (including having clean water, nutritious food and medical care), the right to be treated fairly (which includes changing laws and practices that discriminate against children) and the right to be heard (which includes considering children's views).

UNICEF aims to promote children’s rights in schools through the RRSA in two ways: by supporting schools to ensure that rights are embedded in their ethos and policy-making; and by offering resources and activities to ensure that children and young people can learn about children’s rights in the classroom and beyond.

Teaching children and young people about the CRC means that they can find out about the legal and human rights and responsibilities that underpin society. By learning about the Convention, children and young people in the UK can discover that:

• They have rights• They should be informed about their rights• They should be helped to exercise their rights• They should be able to enforce their rights• There should be a community of interest to advocate young people’s rights• These tenets of the CRC are true for children and young people worldwide, making the Convention an excellent starting point for understanding global citizenship.

The universality of the CRC provides a clear link for pupils between building up their rights-respecting school, understanding their rights and the need for children’s rights to be realised everywhere. Children and young people in rights-respecting schools develop a stronger sense of the need to act for global justice.

For more information on the CRC please see the PDFs below or the UNICEF website

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Classroom poster summarising the CRC