About Children's Rights
What are children’s rights?
Children as well as adults have human rights. Children also have the right to special protection because of their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse.
The main international human rights treaty on children’s rights is the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. Australia ratified the CRC in December 1990, which means that Australia has a duty to ensure that all children in Australia enjoy the rights set out in the treaty.
The CRC incorporates the whole spectrum of human rights - civil, political, economic, social and cultural - and sets out the specific ways these rights should be ensured for children and young people. The CRC recognises that children have the same human rights as adults, while also needing special protection due to their vulnerability.
Some of the guiding principles in the CRC are
- respect for the best interests of the child as a primary consideration
- the right to survival and development
- the right of all children to express their views freely on all matters affecting them
- the right of all children to enjoy all the rights of the CRC without discrimination of any kind.
Click here for the full text of the CRC
Click here for a child-friendly version of the CRC on the UNICEF website
Click here for our poster showing 12 key rights in the CRC
How are children’s rights protected in Australia?
Most children and young people in Australia grow up in a safe, healthy and positive environment.
• Promoting children’s participation in decisions that impact on them
• Providing national leadership and coordination on child rights issues
• Promoting awareness of and respect for the rights of children and young people in Australia
• Undertaking research about children’s rights
• Looking at laws, policies and programs to ensure they protect and uphold the rights of children and young people.
- Find out how you can get involved in other parts of the Commission's work and help make human rights a reality for everyone, everywhere, everyday.