Human rights are the basic standards that people need to live in dignity. In addition to the rights that are available to all people, there are rights that apply only to children. Children need special rights because of their unique needs; they need additional protection that adults don’t. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international document that sets out all of the rights that children have – a child is defined in the Convention as any person under the age of 18 (1).
Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors (2), including their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child's civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child's race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics (3-8).