What is Article 15?
Article 15 is part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) stating children’s right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.
This means that ALL children, regardless of if they are a boy or girl, rich or poor, going to school or not going to school, working or not working, have a special need or not, can come together and form a group to discuss the issues that affect their lives. More than that, we at the Article 15 Project believe that ALL children have this capacity and should be given the space to be the managers and owners of these organisations. This means adults act as supporters and partners, not leaders or decision-makers, and children and youth use their capacities to support the full range of rights of all young people.
What is the CRC?
The CRC is an acronym for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.
The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. By agreeing to make the CRC part of national law, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights and to holding themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.
(Adapted from UNICEF)
Child-Friendly Versions of the CRC
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was not written in language that could easily be understood by the children it was written for! Therefore, various international non-government organizations (NGOs) have written out each of the articles in a child-friendly language.
This children-friendly version of the CRC from Save the Children is a one page document written in slightly more simplistic language than the UNICEF pamphlet. It does not contain any illustrations.
This children-friendly version of the CRC from UNICEF is a two-page handout that when printed, can be folded in to a compact brochure. It contains some illustrations.