Info and Advice

Your Rights

These are your rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
A young teenage boy smiles

Every child and young person has rights

Children and young people across the world have the same rights.  Every single person regardless of their age has human rights, but children and young people have special rights because being young sometimes makes them more vulnerable.

All children and young people have a right to a name
A name

When a child is born it has a right to a name.

No-one can take away your identity. 

All children and young people have a right to a nationality
A nationality

When a child is born it has a right to a nationality. 

No-one is allowed to take away your identity. 

All children and young people have a right to water
Water

Everybody has the right to nutritious food and clean drinking water.

Every child and young person has a right to express themself
Express yourself

You have the right to express yourself through talking, writing, painting and singing, or in any other way, as long as it does not disturb or offend other people. 

 

Have a say
A right to a say and a right to be listened to

You have the right to express your opinions and to be taken seriously in matters which affect you. All children and young people have freedom of speech. 

 

 

 

All children and young people have a right to their own culture, religion and language
Culture, religion and language

You have a right to your own culture, religion and language. 

The thoughts, conscience and religion of all children and young people should be respected.

All children and young people have a right to privacy
Privacy

You have the right to privacy. Your letters and diaries belong to you.

You should not be exposed to attacks on your honour or reputation or exposed to unlawful action in your family life or home. 

 

 

All children and young people have a right to be safe
Be safe

You have a right to be safe. 

All adults should help you to understand and exercise your rights. 

The Government has a responsibility to respect and support parents and others who have responsibility for children and their upbringing. 

 

 

All children and young people have a right to get information
Information

You have the right to get information about things that you feel are important. The Government is responsible for making sure that you can get good information and material from newspapers, books, radio and TV. Adults should help make sure you can find the information you need and that it is not harmful. 

 

All children and young people have a right to protection from work that harms them
Protection from work that harms

You should not be forced to perform any work which harms your health or development. 

In Ireland, the hours young people are allowed to work depends on age and whether or not the work takes place during school term time.

All children and young people have a right to food
Food

Everybody has the right to nutritious food. The government has a responsibility to ensure that dangers from things like environmental pollution are fought.

All children and young people have a right to healthcare
Healthcare

You have the right to the best health care possible. 
 
Children and parents should be informed on child health care and nutrition, hygiene and environmental sanitation, the advantages of breast-feeding and on how to avoid accidents.

All children and young people have a right to be recognised as different, but equal
Different, but equal

All children and young people, regardless of where they come from or how rich or poor they are, have a right to their own unique identity and to all of the rights listed on this page.

No-one deserves to be treated unfairly and if you are being discriminated against, or treated differently to others, you have the right to protection. 

All children and young people have a right to play and rest
Rest and play

You have the right to rest and leisure, play and activities appropriate to your age. You have the right to make friends and join clubs as long as it is safe for you to do so and it does not take away anyone else's rights. 

The government is responsible for promoting the right to everybody to participate in cultural and leisure activities. 

All children and young people have a right to education
School

You have the right to a free primary education and to student counselling and vocational guidance.

Secondary and higher education should also be available to you. 

Regular attendance at school and completion of education is your responsibility, but the government has a responsibility to make sure school is safe and of a good quality.

 

All children and young people have a right to a home
A home

You have the right to live with your parents as long as it is safe for you to do that. No-one should separate you from them, even when your parents are living separately. No child may be taken away or kept abroad against the will of the child and / or his or her parents. 

When children and young people are treated so badly in their own homes that they suffer, they have the right to leave and live somewhere they can have a good life. Children and young people who lack a family environment of their own shall have the opportunity to be adopted.

All children and young people have a right to have adults do what's best for them
Adults should do what's best for you

You always have the right to be treated fairly and to be respected. 

Your parents and other adults should always think of the best interests of the child or young person and act accordingly. 

People like the government, your parents, teachers, people here at the ISPCC and others can help you make sure that your rights are respected.

All children and young people have a right to family and care
Family and Care

Both parents have responsibility for bringing up their children. The government has a responsibility to respect and support them. 

If you are not living with your parents, you still have the right to see both of your parents. 

If one or both of your parents is separated from you, you have a right to know what has happened.

If you live in care, or in another situation away from home, you have the right to have your living arrangements reviewed regularly to make sure they are safe and suitable for you.


 

For more information on your rights, check out the 'It's Your Right' campaign by the Ombudsman for Children's Office here.

Contact Childline

Childline is always here to listen and to support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), text Childline on 50101 (10am – 4am every day) or chat with Childline online

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