The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Simplified)

Return to Reference Texts

Article 1: Definition of the child
Every human being less than 18 years of age, unless majority is attained earlier according to the local laws applicable to children.

Article 2: Non discrimination
All rights must be granted to every child without exception. The State must protect the child without exception. The State must protect the child against all forms of discrimination.

Article 3: Best interests of the child
In all actions concerning children, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.

Article 4: Implementation of rights
The State is obligated to ensure that the rights in the Convention are implemented.

Article 5: Parents, family, community rights and responsibilities
The State must respect the parents and the family in their child rearing function.

Article 6: Life, survival and development
The right of the child to life and the state's obligation to ensure the child's survival and development.

Article 7: Name and nationality
The right from birth to a name, to a nationality, and to know and be cared for by his or her parents.

Article 8: Preservation of identity
The obligation of the State to assist the child in reestablishing identity if this has been illegally withdrawn.

Article 9: Non-separation from parents
The right of the child to retain contact with his or her parents in case of separation. If separation is the result of detention, imprisonment, or death, the State shall provide information to the child or the parents about the whereabouts of the family member.

Article 10: Family reunification
Requests to leave or enter the country for family reunification shall be dealt with in a humane manner. A child has the right to maintain regular contact with both parents when they live in different States.

Article 11: Illicit transfer and kidnapping of children
The State shall combat the kidnapping of children by partners or by third parties.

Article 12: Expression of opinion
The right of the child to express his or her opinion and to have this taken into consideration.

Article 13: Freedom of expression and information
The right to seek, receive and impart information in various forms, including art, print, writing.

Article 14: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
States must respect the rights and duties of parents to provide direction to the child in accordance with the child's evolving capacities.

Article 15: Freedom of association
The child's right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly.

Article 16: Privacy, honour, reputation
No child shall be subjected to interference of his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence.

Article 17: Access to information and media
The child shall have access to information from a diversity of sources; due attention shall be paid to minorities and guidelines shall be encouraged to protect children from harmful material.

Article 18: Parental responsibility
Both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing of the child and assistance shall be given to them in the performance of parental responsibilities.

Article 19: Abuse and neglect (within the family or the care of others)
States have the obligation to protect children from all forms of abuse. Social programs and support services shall be made available.

Article 20: Alternative care for children in the absence of parents
The entitlement of the child to alternative care within the scope of national laws, and the obligation of the State to pay due regard to continuity in the child's religious, cultural, linguistic or ethnic background in the provision of alternative care.

Article 21: Adoption
States are to ensure that only authorised bodies carry out adoptions. Inter-country adoption may be considered if national solutions have been exhausted.

Article 22: Refugee children
Special protection is to be given to refugee children. States shall cooperate with international agencies to this end and also to reunite children separated from the families.

Article 23: Disabled children
The right to benefit from special care and education for a fuller life in society.

Article 24: Health care
Access to preventive and curative health care services as well as the gradual abolition of traditional practices harmful to the child.

Article 25: Periodic review
Children who are placed for the purpose of care, protection, or treatment have the right to have the placement reviewed on a regular basis.

Article 26: Social security
The child's right to social security.

Article 27: Standard of living
Parental responsibility to provide adequate living conditions for the child's development even when one of the parents is living in a country other than the child's place of residence.

Article 28: Education
The right to free primary education, the availability of vocational education, and the need for measures to reducedrop-out rates.

Article 29: Aims of education
Education should foster development of the child's personality and talents, preparation for a responsible adult life, respect for human rights, and cultural and national values of the child's country and that of others.

Article 30: Children of minorities and indigenous children
The right of the child belonging to a minority or indigenous group to enjoy his or her culture, to practise his or her own language.

Article 31: Play and recreation
The right of children to play, and to participate in recreational, cultural, and artistic activities.

Article 32: Economic exploitation
The right of the child to protection against harmful forms of work and exploitation.

Article 33: Narcotic and psychotic substances
Protection of the child against the use of narcotic and psychotic substances and against the utilisation of the child in their production and distribution.

Article 34: Sexual exploitation
Protection of the child against sexual exploitation including prostitution and pornography.

Article 35: Abduction, sale and trafficking
State obligation to prevent the abduction, the sale, and the trafficking of children.

Article 36: Other forms of exploitation
The State is obligated to protect children from other forms of exploitation such as economic exploitation.

Article 37: Torture, capital punishment, deprivation of liberty
Obligation of the State with regards to children in detention.

Article 38: Armed conflicts
Children under 15 years are not to take a direct part in hostilities. No recruitment of children under 15.

Article 39: Recovery and reintegration
State obligations for the education and social reintegration of child victims of exploitation, torture or armed conflicts.

Article 40: Juvenile justice
Treatment of children accused of infringing the penal law shall promote the child's sense of dignity.

Article 41: The right to the most favorable protection
The law most favorable to children, either this law or the local laws of the country in question, are the ones that must be applied.

Article 42: Dissemination of the Convention
The state's duty to make the convention known to adults and children.

Article 43-54: Implementation
These paragraphs provide for a Committee on the Rights of the Child to oversee implementation of the Convention.