The four guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are: Non-discrimination Priority given to the best interests of the child Right to life, survival and development Respect for the views of the child
Beyond these principles, the essential rights of the child as defined by the text are:
The right to an identity (articles 7 and 8)
All children have the right to a name and nationality from birth, ensuring his protection and support by his own country. If the birth is not registered, the child will not be recognized by the state and will not receive care nor education.
The right to health (articles 23 and 24)
All children should be cared for if sick, be well-fed, protected from drugs, and enjoy living conditions which are not dangerous to their health.
The right to education, (article 28)
All children have the right to an education and access to skills which will help them prepare for their future.
The right to a family life (articles 8, 9, 10, 16, 20, 22 and 40)
All children have the right to live with people who love and care for them, preferably their families, or by carers if their own families cannot look after them.
Right to be protected from violence (article 19 and 34)
Each child must be protected from violence, from his own family or any person who wishes to harm him. He should never be obliged to suffer or inflict ill-treatment or any act of sexual or physical violence.
The right to an opinion (article 12 and 13)
All children have the right to express their views. They also have the right to be informed and give their opinion about the world around them.
The right to be protected from armed conflict (articles 38 and 39)
All children must be protected from war and its consequences, such as being a refugee, injured, prisoner, or forced into armed conflict.
The right to be protected from exploitation (articles 19, 32, 34, 36 and 39)
A child should not be obliged to work in difficult or dangerous conditions, in order to survive or support his family.
The right to equality and respect for differences. Each child has the same rights, regardless of his race, color, religion, language or culture, gender, or abilities.