The Themes of the Child Rights Convention (CRC)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a comprehensive framework for the rights of children, consisting of a preamable and 54 separate articles that spell out these rights. The expansive array of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights are best summarized in the following four categories - which are also known as the core of the Convention


Survival includes basic health and healthcare, disease prevention and control, nutrition, water supply sanitation and environmental health.

Articles on Survival include:

  • The right to life, survival and development (Article 6)
  • The right to health and access to health-care services (Article 24)
  • Benefit from social security (Article 26)
  • A decent standard of living (Article 27)
  • Registration, name, nationality care and preservation of identity (Articles 7,8)


Development includes early learning and stimulation; education, leisure and cultural activities; and parental guidance and care.

Articles on Development include:

  • Family relations and parental guidance  
  • Right of the parent to provide direction and guidance to the child (Article 5)
  • Right to be registered at birth and cared for by parents (Article 7)
  • Right to preserve identity and family relations (Article 8)
  • Right to non-separation from parents (Article 9)
  • Right to family reunification (Article 10)
  • Right to be raised by both parents (Article 18)
  • Right to safe alternative forms of family care (Article 20)
  • Right to lawful adoption (21)
  • Right to periodic review of treatment (Article 25)
  • Education: (Articles 28, 29)
  • Access to appropriate information (Articles 13, 17)


Protection involves safeguarding children from risks to their mental, physical and emotional well-being, including emergency situations, conflict with the law, violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and discrimination.

Articles on Protection include:

  • Illicit transfer of children abroad (Article 11)
  • Unlawful interference with privacy, family, home (Article 16)
  • Protection from maltreatment (Article 19)  
  • Alternate care (Article 20)
  • Lawful adoption (Article 21)
  • Refugee children (Article 22)
  • Disabled children (Article 23)
  • Indigenous children (Article 30)
  • Protection from economic exploitation (Article 32)
  • Protection from illicit use of narcotic drugs (Article 33)
  • Protection from sexual exploitation (Article 34 and Optional Protocol on on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography)
  • Protection from armed conflict (Article 38 and Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict)
  • Right to recovery and social reintegration (Article 39)
  • Juvenile justice (Article 40)


Participation promotes the empowerment and capacity of children to be involved in the decisions and actions that affect them. This includes civil rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, of conscience and religions, association and peaceful assembly. Access to information and children’s right to express their views in matters affecting them.

Articles on Participation include:

  • Freedom from discrimination (Article 2)
  • The right to be heard (Article 12)
  • Freedom of expression (Article 13)
  • Freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 14)
  • Freedom of association and peaceful assembly (Article 15)
  • Access to information (Article 17)