Convention on the Rights of the Child


The General Assembly of the United Nations calls upon all 192 Member Countries to publicize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."

The Committee on the Rights of the Child urges all levels of government to use the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) as a guide in policy-making and implementation:

  • To raise awareness and disseminate information on the Convention by providing training to all those involved in government policy-making and working with or for children.
  • To involve civil society—including children themselves—in the process of implementing and raising awareness of child rights.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an international law reinforcement of the Nuremberg Trial Judgments, upholds the rights of one nation to intervene in the affairs of another if said nation is abusing its citizens, and rose out of a 1939–1945 World War II environment: between the "haves" and "have nots."

It's all about choices; standing up for the Rights of the Child (under 18s) and assisting our neighbours who are struggling to stand up.

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989): 2 of the 192 UN Member Countries have NOT yet ratified the Convention. The United States of America and Somalia.

CRC's two optional protocols = two superhighways for the trafficking of HIV/AIDS.

  • Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography55 of the 192 UN Member Countries have NOT yet ratified the Convention’s Optional Protocol.
  • Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict60 of the 192 UN Member Countries have NOT yet ratified the Convention’s Optional Protocol.

Implement Laws and policies that respect young people’s rights.

"Don’t be afraid to look me in the eye"

  • Don’t push yourself on me in the name of help if I don’t want or need it. I have the ability to make decisions for myself. Honor my decisions even if you don’t agree with them.
  • We have lots of people offering us “help,” but most are NOT actually meeting our needs. Meet my needs, not your desires. If you don’t know what my needs are, it is ok to ask.
  • If you offer help and I accept, follow through on your promises. Do not lie to us or give us a false sense of hope. Be real about how much you can and will help.
  • If you offer help, I want it to address my immediate needs! Not something that will help me 5 years from now. For instance, if I don’t have food, a place to sleep or my fix, then scholarships for school have very little relevance in my life.
  • Some people are happy in this life. Thinking I require help OUT of this life is bad thinking on YOUR part.
  • Don’t assume I’m strung out and need help kicking. Maybe I’m not strung out or maybe I have no desire to quit.
  • Don’t pity me or feel sorry for me. Remember, anyone can end up in a rough place in life. When someone pities you, it makes you feel “less than” or ashamed of your lack of ability to get yourself out of the rough situation you found yourself in. Remember, it could be you standing here working next to me later!
  • If you want to help, make yourself available and perhaps offer options. Let me choose the type of help I want/need, not what you think I need.
  • Don’t judge me! If you are judging me, you are not in a position to help me.
  • Don’t tokenize me. Street-based workers come from all different races, genders, religions, socio-economical backgrounds and education levels. Don’t assume that just because “Pretty Woman” is your favorite movie, you know me.
  • Be patient if I need help. Chances are I’m in survival mode, and you need to respect where I am, not where you want me to be.
  • Respect me. Don’t be afraid to look me in the eye.

Professor Philip Goulder

Pediatric Research Immunologist, HIV Infection & Immune Control Group, University of Oxford

We watch carefully the people who inspire us, and listen to the stories they tell us; what we learn from them shapes what we understand, how we feel and how we act in the world.


Professor Andrew Tomkins

Institute of Child Health, University College London

Art and poetry often communicate in deeper ways, reaching our inner lives to bring truth and realization. They also release new strength for respect, care and compassion.

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