In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the . These rights are based on what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. They apply equally to every child, regardless of who they are, or where they are from.
Every day these rights are denied. Millions of children are dying from preventable diseases. Millions more don’t go to school, or have food, shelter and clean water. Children are subjected to violence, abuse and discrimination, and go unheard. This is wrong.
Rescue4children works with families, communities and governments to put it right.
We protect and promote the rights of all children
Every child has the right to an education which develops their personality, talents and abilities to the full. Primary education must be free for all children.
Right now, however, 61 million children are still being denied their right to go to school. Poor teaching and facilities, or poverty, deny many others the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Free primary school education is not a reality for every child, and fees are a major barrier to school attendance.
Every child has the right to health care, clean water, nutritious food and a safe environment so they can be as healthy as possible.
The recognises the importance of childhood as a crucial time of growth and development, and also of increased vulnerability.
By adopting the Convention, the world has promised every child the extra care, protection and opportunities for rest and play they need to ensure that their childhood is a time free from exploitation or adult responsibilities.
Although progress has been made, many children are still denied their right to a childhood. Millions are living on city streets around the world. Approximately one in six children worldwide is engaged in some form of child labour, including hazardous work.
Other children are bought and sold, neglected or hurt. An estimated 1.2 million children worldwide have been trafficked, often for the purposes of cheap labour or commercial sexual exploitation. Some children have to grow up quickly as a result of caring for sick parents or orphaned brothers and sisters, with no-one to care for them in turn.
All children have the same rights, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, beliefs, HIV status, abilities or family background. Yet every day children, like adults, face discrimination for any number of reasons. Poverty is also a significant barrier to children achieving their rights and being treated fairly.
Children have the same rights even if they are not a national of the country in which they are living. In 2008, following lobbying from rescue4children UK, the UK Government withdrew its last two reservations to the , including one on immigration and nationality. This means that children seeking asylum and those who have been trafficked into the UK now have the same rights to education, health and support services as British children.
Through our community-based programmes, rescue4children strives to end cultural traditions and practices that harm children and to challenge gender-based violence.
Every child has the right to a voice on matters that affect them and to have their views taken seriously – in accordance with their age and maturity.