What is the UNCRC?

You may have heard the term ‘rights’ before, or even the UNCRC, but what exactly was it and how does it affect young people living in Scotland?  

What is it? 

The United Nations is a gathering of 192 countries, in these gatherings they write conventions to say what the countries need to do in order to make a collectively fairer and more peaceful world.   

The UNCRC is the UN Convention on the Rights of The Child. It was written in 1989 with the aim to recognise the rights of children and agrees that they should be protected and promoted in all areas of their life. They belong to everyone up to the age of 18 in the UK, although in some countries this age is lower.  

What are rights? 

‘Rights’ are things that every child should have or be able to do. There are 54 rights laid out as articles in the UNCRC.  

From the right to a name, the right to privacy and the right to housing and food, almost every country has agreed to recognise the rights in the UNCRC.  

All the rights are connected to each other and are equally important.   

The fact that a country has signed the UNCRC does not guarantee that the rights will be respected, protected and fulfilled. Adults are responsible for respecting these rights and countries are responsible for creating laws that will protect these rights.  

Article 42 in the UNCRC says you have the right to know your rights! Adults should know what your rights are and help you learn about them too. 

What does it mean for young people in Scotland?  

 By signing the UNCRC, Scotland and the UK agree that the rights of children should be protected and promoted in all areas of their life including: 

  • education 
  • freedom from violence, abuse and neglect 
  • a house, food and clothing  
  • the right to play and relax  
  • the right to privacy  

To help keep some of the promises made to young people about their rights, Scottish Government set up the SCCYP (Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People).  

The Children’s commissioner works to protect and promote young people’s rights in Scotland. The Scottish Youth Parliament also exists so young people can represent their views to decision makers and MPS and ensure their rights are promoted and protected.  

 If you would like to find out more on your rights, here are some more articles we have written.  

Check out more information about your rights.