In 1989, the leaders of the world agreed that all children in all countries have the same fundamental rights. From the wealthiest to the poorest, these rights do not change, they are things like education, play, access to health services and protection from violence.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out what countries must do to ensure that all children can enjoy their rights, regardless of who they are, or where they are from. The only countries that have not ratified the treaty are Somalia, South Sudan, and the United States. Whilst 194 countries have signed the convention, many are still far from meeting its goals — there is still a lot of work to do.
This is a collection of activities for children and young people that will help you to understand what is meant by children’s rights. In the links and resources at the bottom of the page you will find books, films and other organisations doing excellent work on children’s rights.
Further Resources & Links
The Equality and Human Rights Commission have created a Rights Tracker with a progress page which provides a snapshot overview of how well – or not – the UK Government is meeting its international human rights obligations.
Unicef have created this version of the convention plus other child friendly resources in a range of languages.
A free set of Rights and Responsibilities posters from TES.
Young Scots in partnership with the Scottish Government and Children in Scotland have created this activity pack on children and young people’s rights. These exciting activities were co-designed by children and young people across Scotland.
For activities to explore this further with a group see the Save the Children Take Care Toolkit
My Little Book of BIG Freedoms is illustrated by Chris Riddell and is suitable for everyone over the age of 4.
Malala’s Magic Pencil tells Malala’s story, in her own words, for a younger audience. Showing a worldview that allowed her to hold on to hope and to make her voice heard even in the most difficult of times.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed on 10 December 1948. We are All Born Free, published 60 years on, celebrates each declaration with an illustration by an artist or illustrator and is a great way to get to grips with the declaration for children and adults alike.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission have made this easy to understand video to introduce the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The Children’s and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland works with a team to protect the human rights of children and young people in Scotland.
Together is the Scottish Alliance for Children’s rights.
Oxfam has some fantasic Children’s rights resources.
Children’s Rights Alliance England seek to achieve the full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in England. They are advocating for a a society where the human rights of all children are recognised and realised.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission