CRC and Child Safeguarding
We reaffirm the moral imperative to protect children from harm, as enshrined and protected in the teachings of all of the world’s religious and spiritual communities and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols.
All children, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances, have the right to be protected, nurtured and free from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, maltreatment. Supporting this right is the essence of child safeguarding.
Safeguarding implies a wider duty of care towards children rather than only upholding their right to protection, as defined in the CRC. It is focused on children’s well-being and no harm. The boxes below explain what the CRC has to say about safeguarding children.
All children have all these rights, no matter who they are, where they live, what language they speak, what their religion is, what they think, what they look like, if they are a boy or girl, if they have a disability, if they are rich or poor, and no matter who their parents or families are or what their parents or families believe or do. No child should be treated unfairly for any reason.
When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. All adults should do what is best for children. Governments should make sure children are protected and looked after by their parents, or by other people when this is needed. Governments should make sure that people and places responsible for looking after children are doing a good job.
Every child has the right to privacy. The law must protect children’s privacy, family, home, communications and reputation (or good name) from any attack.
Governments must protect children from violence, abuse and being neglected by anyone who looks after them.
Every child who cannot be looked after by their own family has the right to be looked after properly by people who respect the child’s religion, culture, language and other aspects of their life.
Children have the right to be protected from doing work that is dangerous or bad for their education, health or development. If children work, they have the right to be safe and paid fairly.
Governments must protect children from taking, making, carrying or selling harmful drugs.
The government should protect children from sexual exploitation (being taken advantage of) and sexual abuse, including by people forcing children to have sex for money, or making sexual pictures or films of them.
Children have the right to be protected from all other kinds of exploitation (being taken advantage of), even if these are not specifically mentioned in this Convention.
Children who are accused of breaking the law should not be killed, tortured, treated cruelly, put in prison forever, or put in prison with adults. Prison should always be the last choice and only for the shortest possible time. Children in prison should have legal help and be able to stay in contact with their family.
Children have the right to be protected during war. No child under 15 can join the army or take part in war.
Children have the right to get help if they have been hurt, neglected, treated badly or affected by war, so they can get back their health and dignity.