These are your rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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.

A name

When a child is born it has a right to a name. No-one can take away your identity.

A nationality

When a child is born it has a right to a nationality. No-one is allowed to take away your identity.


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

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Ombudsman for Children

The Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) is a human rights institution which promotes the rights and welfare of young people under 18 years of age living in Ireland. You can find out more about your rights and about the work of the Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) by checking out the 'It's Your Right' campaign at the link above.

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