No matter what country you live in: Like every child in the world, you have very specific rights. These rights are laid down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. They apply to all people under the age of 18.
They apply to everyone, no matter what color their skin is. Religion, language or culture do not matter either. Poor as well as rich, healthy, and disabled children have rights. Furthermore, no one may take away any of the rights from a child. In the following, we would like to explain the children’s rights to you briefly and concisely.
These Are Your Rights As A Child
Because these rights apply to all children, all children should have access to them. Because children’s rights also include the right to know about the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Sometimes adults have to make decisions for you. But they have to be careful about what is best for you. Even if you live in a children’s home or other institution, this right applies.
Your State’s Duty
Your state has a duty to make it possible for you to realize your rights. Therefore, all countries in the world should work together to make this happen.
In addition, you have the right to be supported by a social security system. The state must also pay for this.
All children and adults should know the rights of children. The state must also take care of this.
Enforce And Know Your Rights
Your parents must help you to know and understand your rights. They should also support you in implementing them. This also means that your parents must comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, they must not forbid you to have your privacy.
The Right To Life
Children should be able to live and develop as well as possible.
Birth Certificate And More
Every child has the right to a birth certificate and citizenship. You also have the right to know your parents. They must take care of you so that you are well.
The Right To An Identity
All children in the world have their own name, nationality, and family. Adults also call this identity. So you just get to be who you are. As your own person, you go your own way.
This also means that you can have your own language, culture and religion. And this is completely independent of whether the people in your country agree with you or not. Indigenous people and minorities need special protection.
Living With Your Parents
You may live with your parents if it is good for you. If you live apart from your parents, you may see them regularly. Only if this would be too dangerous, you are not allowed to have contact with your parents. Otherwise, the state must ensure that you can meet your parents regularly.
By the way, you also have the right to be raised and cared for by both parents. The state must support your parents where it can. And your parents must also make sure that you can spend time with both of them.
In addition, they must ensure that you grow up in good circumstances. You should be able to develop in the best possible way. If your parents cannot take care of this, then you will get support from the state. Your clothes and the apartment you live in should also be of good quality.
The Right To Family Reunification
This right is especially important for refugees. Because they also have a right to live together with their parents. If it is too dangerous in their home country, many children flee to another country. Then they have to be supported by the state to move back together. Often it is then possible for the parents to move to the new country as well.
The Right To Freedom
Because you have the right to freedom, you must not be held abroad against your will. The states have to make sure that this right is respected. This right is also especially important for refugees.
All countries in the world must protect children from being kidnapped or sold. Because as a child, you have the right to protection from all kinds of exploitation.
You must not be punished in a cruel or inhumane way. That is why children must not be given the death penalty. Only after a certain age are children allowed to be locked up in prison. There, however, they need child-friendly treatment and access to a good lawyer. They must have the opportunity to stay in contact with their parents.
In court, you have the right to fair treatment and legal help. The laws of the state must respect your rights as a child. In addition, there should be juvenile courts. There must be different ways for kids and teens who have committed a crime to return to normal life. Because in this return you need guidance and help.
The Right To Your Own Opinion
Like every human being, you are allowed to share your own opinion. Moreover, adults must take this opinion seriously and pay attention to it. Every judge must listen to you if you are affected by a crime.
This also includes that you are allowed to decide for yourself whether you believe in God or not. Your parents should help you with this and must respect your religion.
The Right To Education, Information And Exchange Of Opinions
Just as you have the right to know about these children’s rights, you also have the right to information. You have the right to know what is happening in the world. You can share your opinion by writing it down, drawing it, or expressing it in other ways. Of course, you must not offend anyone.
Information you learn from the radio, books, newspapers, television, or the Internet must not harm or frighten you. It is up to your parents to take care of this.
You must have the opportunity of a good education. It should cost nothing and educate you in the best possible way. The goal is for you to graduate with the best degree you can. This education is to develop your special talents and abilities. It is to help you live in peace in the world. You should understand that you have to protect the environment. Also, education should teach you to respect other cultures and people from different countries. Therefore, you should learn about human and children’s rights in your school.
Assembly, Clubs And Co.
Adults have the right to join together. This is also true for children. You are allowed to assemble peacefully without violating the rights of others.
Every Child Needs Privacy
Privacy means that you have your quiet time now and then without anyone watching you. For that, you need your own room. Also, your parents do not need to know everything about you. Like everyone, you are allowed to have secrets. Because this topic often leads to disputes in families, we have written a separate article about it. You can find it in the section “Family problems”.
The Right To Protection
No one may be physically or emotionally abused, mistreated or neglected. Of course, this also applies to all children. Therefore, your parents must make sure that you are protected.
If you cannot live with your parents, the state must ensure that you are protected by other people and receive help. This can be a children’s home, for example.
However, you may only be adopted if it is in your best interest. So the adoptive parents should respect children’s rights and be able to take good care of you.
If you live with a foster family, it must be checked regularly whether you are doing well there.
Refugee children also have a right to protection. They need special help and must be supported by the state.
You also have special rights as a child in times of war. No child may be induced to actively participate in war. Instead, you must be protected as much as possible in times of war.
Help For Disabled Children
If you are disabled, you are entitled to special support and assistance. Of course, all children’s rights apply to you as well. Therefore, you must be enabled to participate like other children in the common life and to actively shape your life.
The Right To Health
You should be as healthy as possible. Therefore, you must receive medical treatment when you need it. You must also have access to clean drinking water and healthy food. Your environment must not harm your health. You must also be protected from dangerous customs. In addition, adults must teach you how to live as healthfully as possible.
You must also be protected from drugs and drug trafficking. In addition, you have the right to protection from sexual abuse.
If you are abused, neglected or exploited, you have the right to help. Through the resources of the state, you must be enabled to return to as normal a life as possible.
The Right To Free Time
As a child, you need time to play. In your free time you should be able to relax and be active artistically. All this is included in the right to free time.
That is why you are not allowed to go to work until you have finished your school education. The state must ensure that this right is respected. Only at a certain age are you allowed to go to work. Then, appropriate security and fair payment must be ensured.
You and your parents can find more information about children’s rights at https://www.unicef.at/kinderrechte/die-un-kinderrechtskonvention/
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words in the text.
2) Are children allowed to be used as soldiers in war? Give reasons for your answer.
3) What did you remember about the right to education? Write everything down here.
4) A world where all countries abide by children’s rights – that would be nice, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, this does not quite correspond to reality yet. Draw a picture in which you include the following points:
- What would a world look like where all children are doing well?
- What do children need to do well?
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