CRC and Child Empowerment
The Convention establishes that States parties have the obligation to take specific measures for the development of children according to their evolving capacities (art. 5), abilities (art. 23) and best interests (art. 3), without discrimination (art. 2). Children should learn about human rights through education (arts. 28 and 29), and be able to exercise their rights to express their views and be heard (article 12), freedom of expression (art. 13), freedom of thought and conscience (art. 14), freedom of association and peaceful assembly (art. 15), and access to information (art. 17). The boxes below explain what the CRC has to say about child empowerment.
Children can choose their own thoughts, opinions and religion, but this should not stop other people from enjoying their rights. Parents can guide children so that as they grow up, they learn to properly use this right.
Children have the right to get information from the Internet, radio, television, newspapers, books and other sources. Adults should make sure the information they are getting is not harmful. Governments should encourage the media to share information from lots of different sources, in languages that all children can understand.
Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free. Secondary and higher education should be available to every child. Children should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level possible. Discipline in schools should respect children’s rights and never use violence.
Children’s education should help them fully develop their personalities, talents and abilities. It should teach them to understand their own rights, and to respect other people’s rights, cultures and differences. It should help them to live peacefully and protect the environment.
Children have the right to use their own language, culture and religion – even if these are not shared by most people in the country where they live.
Every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities.