Defending the Rights of Children

Thirty years ago, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognized children as their own beings entitled to non-negotiable human rights. The CRC, signed on 20 November 1989, explains who children are, all their rights, and the responsibilities of governments regarding their protection and nurturing. All the rights are connected; they are all equally important and they cannot be taken away from children.

This 30th anniversary of the CRC is a good time to recognize that:

  • Children need to be treated with dignity and respect
  • Children should be cared for and allowed to develop and be part of their communities
  • Children have a right to an education, to express their own opinions, and to participate in decisions that concern them
  • Children have the right to be protected against all violence and discrimination, wherever they live, regardless of their ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth, or other status.

Child advocates throughout the international community must increase their efforts to help children thrive, renewing their commitment to protect and promote children’s human rights. While notable progress has been achieved on behalf of children, significant challenges remain—particularly for girls, children with disabilities, and children in disadvantaged and vulnerable situations.

Learn more about the 30th anniversary events:

The CRC is available at:

A child-friendly version can be found at: