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RightsED: Child rights - Introduction

Child rights



Subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Society and Environment (all)

Level: Year 5 and up (10 years and up)

Time needed: 1 – 4 lessons



All people – no matter their age, sex, colour, religion or where they
live – have the same basic needs to live a healthy life. These needs
include food, shelter, education, healthcare and freedom from persecution and

Through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the
governments of the world agreed that people have a right to have these basic
needs met. Denying people their basic rights not only leads to the personal
suffering of individuals – it can result in conflict and unrest in

In addition to the rights in the UDHR, children have supplementary rights
that recognise those things that they need to help them survive and develop to
their full potential.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out these rights
– and Australia, along with nearly every other country in the world, has
agreed to protect these rights.


This series of activities will help students to:

  • understand the difference between rights and wants
  • research important aspects of the Convention on the Rights of the
  • appreciate the important rights in their life
  • consider the rights issues that children in Australian immigration detention
    centres faced prior to policy change.

The activities can be
photocopied for class use and used individually or as an entire resource.

Learning outcomes

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • discuss rules and laws that affect young people and assess these according
    to fairness and appropriateness
  • identify key personnel within the legal system who protect peoples
  • define and exercise personal and shared rights and responsibilities within
    local contexts.


  • Activity sheet: Rights and wants
  • Resource sheet: Human rights images
  • Activity sheet: Rights and wants
  • Activity sheet: Getting to know the Convention on the Rights of the Child
    (Child friendly version)
  • Activity sheet: A last resort
  • Resource sheet: A last resort
  • Activity sheet: A last resort

Teaching strategies

Teachers should familiarize themselves with the rights covered in both the
UDHR and the CRC prior to the lesson. These are available for download at: