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Children and young people have their own rights. They are used to make sure you are treated fairly.
If you feel you rights are not being met you can tell an adult about it. Children's rights make sure that all children:
- grow as healthy as possible
- can learn
- are protected
- have their views listened to
- are treated fairly.
Who protects your rights
Lots of counties around the world have agreed to make sure your rights are protected by signing up to a document called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). The UK Government signed up to make sure that your rights are protected.
The children's commissioner for England promotes and protects children's rights in England.
The children's commissioner for England is Anne Longfield OBE. She has a statutory duty to promote and protect the rights of all children in England in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Children and Families Act 2014 gives her special responsibility for the rights of children who are in or leaving care, living away from home or receiving social care services.
It's her job to make life better for all children and young people by making sure their rights are respected and realised and that their views are taken seriously.
Our children's rights officer is Vicky Pealing. Her job is to make sure that children and young people in Derbyshire have their rights respected and their views are taken seriously.
Particularly young people who use services, for example, if you have a social worker, you are a 'child in care' or you have a special educational need or a disability.
In some cases where children's rights are not being met you may want to ask for the help of the Children's Independent Advocacy Service. They'll help you understand what your rights are and help you to complain if your rights are not being met.
You've got them! Rights!
Children have rights just like adults. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says:
- Children under the age of 18 years old have all the rights in the convention. Article 1.
- The convention is for everyone, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, or whatever family they come from. Article 2.
- Children have the right to say what they think should happen when adults are making decisions that affect them… and adults have a responsibility to listen to children and take their views into account. Article 12.
- Children have the right to think and believe what they want and to practise their religion. Article 14.
- A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and independence, and to play an active part in the community. Article 23.
- Children have the right to the best possible health. Article 24.
- Children have a right to an education. Article 28.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has 54 articles in total. We haven't covered them all here.
If you think that you or another child you know are not having their rights met you can contact:
- Vicky Pealing, children's rights officer and the contact for the Children's Independent Advocacy Service in Derbyshire, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01629 535787.
- The Children's Commissioner's Office for England helpline for children in care tel: 0800 528 0731.
- Children's Rights Alliance England tel: 08088 020 008.
- Childline tel: 0800 1111.