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The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC 1989)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989 and was the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. The four core principles of the Convention are: non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. Discrimination against the girl child hits our societies and involves multiple issues. The CRC defines discrimination against women and children respectively, and sets up legal obligations for States Parties to eliminate it.

CRC –article 28

CRC affirms the right of the child to education (Article 28) and when read together with Article 2, it forcefully addresses discrimination in children’s access to education.

Article 28 of the CRC defines that all state parties are obligated to establish educational systems and ensure access to them. In the context of the right to education it is very important to remember and understand that it is children’s right to enjoy their human rights both in school and outside. Education must also be provided in a way that respects the strict limits on discipline reflected in article 28 (2), and promotes non-violence in school.

 CRC – article 29

Article 29 (1) “…underlines the individual and subjective right to a specific quality of education.” Compliance with the values recognized in article 29 (1) clearly requires that schools be child-friendly in the fullest sense of the term, and that they be consistent in all respects with the dignity of the child.

Also 29 (1d) describes gender equality by referring to “the preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin”.

CRC - Article 2

“1. States Parties shall respect and ensure the rights set forth in the present Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child's or his or her parent's or legal guardian's race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”


See relevant General Comments, which explains the significance of the articles in CRC:

CRC General Comment No.1: The Aims of Education, Article 29(1), (2001)

See also Optional Protocols of CRC:

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

See relevant links:

CRC The routes to the treaty bodies and committees.