Human rights are something we all share. They are about recognising the value and dignity of all people. Human rights help us to respect ourselves and each other.
The special rights for children and young people are listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). All children and young people, everywhere in the world – no matter who they are, where they live or what they believe in – have these rights.
The UNCRC has 54 articles of which 42 are rights for children and young people up to 18 years of age. The others are all about how governments and adults should work together to make sure children and young people can access their rights.
The rights on the list are all the things that children and young people need for their survival, safety and development, and to have a say in decisions that affect their lives.
The UNCRC is not law, but because the Australian government has signed up to it, they must make sure that children and young people have all their rights in the UNCRC. They also have to make sure that children, young people and adults know about and understand the UNCRC. Every five years the Australian government must report about their progress, and Australian non government organisations make a separate report.