Especially rewritten for young people by Save the Children There is an international law called The Convention on the Rights of the Child. All the countries of the world have agreed to make this law work, except two: the USA and Somalia. Your rights are about what you are allowed to do, and what the people responsible for you have to do for you to make sure you are happy, healthy and safe. You also have responsibilities towards other children and adults, to make sure they get their rights
(A few Articles have been omitted as they deal with technicalities of implementation)
Everyone under 18 years of age has all the rights in this Convention.
You have these rights, whoever you are, whoever your parents are, whatever colour you are, whatever sex or religion you are, whatever language you speak, whether you have a disability, or whether you are rich or poor.
Whenever an adult has anything to do with you, they should do what is best for you.
Everyone should recognize that you have the right to live.
You have the right to have a name and, at your birth, your name, your parents’ names and the date should be written down. You have the right to a nationality, and the right to know and be cared for by your parents.
You should not be separated from your parents unless it is for your own good. For instance, your parents may be hurting you or not taking care of you. Also, if your parents decide to live apart, you will have to live with one or the other of them, but you have the right to contact both easily.
If you or your parents are living in separate countries, you have the right to get back together and live in the same place.
You should not be kidnapped, and, if you are, the government should try its hardest to get you back.
Whenever adults make a decision which will affect you in any way, you have the right to give your opinion, and the adults have to take that seriously.
You have the right to find out things and say what you think through speaking, writing, making art, etc., unless it attacks the rights of others.
You have the right to think what you like and be whatever religion you want to be. Your parents should help you learn what is right and wrong.
You have the right to meet, make friends and make clubs with other people, unless it interferes with the rights of others.
You have the right to a private life. For instance, you can keep a diary that other people are not allowed to see.
You have the right to collect information from radio, newspapers, television, books, etc., from all around the world. Adults should make sure that you get information you can understand.
Both of your parents should be involved in bringing you up and they should do what is best for you.
No one should hurt you in any way. Adults should make sure that you are protected from abuse, violence and neglect. Even your parents have no right to hurt you.
If you do not have any parents, or if it is not safe for you to live with your parents, you have the right to special protection and help.
If you have to be adopted, adults should make sure everything is arranged in the way that is best for you.
If you are a refugee (meaning you have to leave your own country because it is not safe to live there) you have the right to special protection and help.
If you are disabled, either mentally or physically, you have the right to special care and education to help you grow up in the same way as others.
You have a right to good health. This means that you should have professional care and medicines when you are sick. Adults should try their hardest to make sure that children do not get sick in the first place by feeding and taking good care of them.
You have the right to a good-enough ‘standard of living’. Parents are responsible for making sure you have food, clothes, a place to live, etc. If parents cannot afford this, the government should help.
You have a right to education. You must have primary education, and it must be free. You should also be able to go to secondary school.
The purpose of your education is to develop your personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to the fullest. Education should also develop your respect for your parents, your cultural identity and for the cultural background and values of others, and prepare you to live responsibly and peacefully, in a free society, understanding the rights of other people, and respecting the environment.
If you come from a minority group, you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practise your own religion and use your own language.
You have a right to play.
You have the right to be protected from working in places or conditions that are likely to damage your health or get in the way of your education. If somebody is making money out of your work, you should be paid fairly.
You have the right to be protected from illegal drugs and from the business of making and selling drugs.
You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse. Nobody can do anything to your body that you do not want them to, such as touching you or taking pictures of you or making you say things you don’t want to say.
No one is allowed to kidnap or sell you.
Even if you do something wrong, no one is allowed to punish you in a way that humiliates or hurts you badly. You should never be put in prison except as a last resort and, if you are, you have the right to special care and regular visits with your family.
You have a right to protection in times of war. If you are under 15, you should not have to be in an army or take part in a battle.
If you have been hurt or neglected in any way, e.g. in a war, you have the right to special care and treatment.
You have the right to defend yourself if you have been accused of committing a crime. The police, lawyers and judges in court should treat you with respect and make sure you understand everything that is going on.
All adults and all children should know about this Convention. You have a right to learn about your rights and adults should learn about them too.