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St Josephs Primary School, Slate Street, Belfast
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Celebrating 30 Years of Children and Young People’s Rights

19th Nov 2019

Join us at our Big Breakfast event on Wed 20th Nov as we celebrate children's rights!

What is the UNCRC?

Thirty years ago, world leaders united around a common cause and adopted an international law on childhood, known as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The UNCRC is an agreement signed by the UK Government (along with 196 other countries) that lists 42 promises (also called Articles) made to children and young people to ensure that they are treated equally and fairly. These promises cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to which children are entitled. 

The UNCRC also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.  It has helped to transform children’s lives and it means that every child has a right to a childhood. It is designed to ensure that every child should survive and develop, never suffer discrimination, have decisions made in their best interests and have a right to participate and be heard.

Has the UK Government signed it?

Yes, they ratified it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force in January 1992. However, NICCY believes that to securely safeguard and protect these rights, the Convention must be fully enshrined into domestic law.

Thirty years on from signing the Convention, child rights have not changed, they have no expiry date. But childhood has changed. The increasing use of technology, climate change, changes in the environment, migration and prolonged conflict and its legacy are changing the lives of children in Northern Ireland. Today’s children face new threats to their rights, but they also have new opportunities to realise their rights.