Every person has rights, no matter what their age, ethnicity, culture, religion, and location are. These are called 'human rights'. Dedicated people from all around the world protect and promote human rights, working locally, nationally, and internationally.
The Children's Commissioner Dr Russell Wills protects and promotes a special part of human rights that directly apply to children and young people. These are called 'children's rights'. Children's rights cover things like what children and young people should and should not be allowed to do, how they should be treated, how they should be protected, and whose role is it to protect them. While human rights protect everyone's access to necessities (like food, shelter, and clothing), children's rights are much more detailed about children's needs. They protect children's and young people's access to good education and healthcare, and make sure that children are safe from activities or people who may hurt them.
The largest children's rights document is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC). This document has been agreed to by 192 countries around the world, including New Zealand in 1993. Even though children's rights were not introduced by UNCROC, it means that they are being recognised and respected by more people in New Zealand and around the world.
A group of young people guided and supported the Children's Commissioner to create a resource to help other young people understand what the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is and what it means for young people. Click on the image below to download this resource.
If you have a question about young people's rights or would like to get in touch with the Office of the Children's Commissioner, then please contact us.