About the Convention from UNICEF.org:
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.
The Convention sets out these rights in 54 articles and two Optional Protocols. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Every right spelled out in the Convention is inherent to the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects children's rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services.
By agreeing to undertake the obligations of the Convention (by ratifying or acceding to it), national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children's rights and they have agreed to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community. States parties to the Convention are obliged to develop and undertake all actions and policies in the light of the best interests of the child.
Understanding the Convention
The Advocate for Children and Youth created the Saskatchewan Children and Youth First Principles in order to consolidate the 54 articles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into a more easily applied and practical tool for the public and government to understand and use.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
We have also developed, in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit, a series of lesson plans connecting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to outcomes from the grades 6, 7 and 8 Social Studies provincial curriculum. Each grade level series addresses a selection of the Convention's articles and was written by teachers for teachers in Saskatchewan.