We, Children from seven countries and three continents, having communicated with
each other over the Internet, agree that the following are natural rights of
Children all over the world, and hereby ratify them:
We believe that a successful society invests its best resources
and hopes in the success of its children. An unsuccessful society ignores or
maltreats its children.
Children are the future of our species. How a society treats its children is
a direct reflection of how that society looks at its future. The Children’s Bill
of Rights proposes rights for children that all adults on Earth should honor, so
that we may help create the very best future for ourselves and, in turn, our own
A moral and competent society is one that respects and upholds the rights of
its children. A society that fails to do so is immoral and incompetent.
Articles of the Children’s Bill of Rights
Section I: Articles that are implemented immediately
1. Children’s universal rights
As compared to adults, children until the
age of 18 have the right to receive special care and protection.
Children all have the same rights, no matter what country they were born in
or are living in, what their sex is, what their race is, or what their religion
2. Right to inherit a better world
Children have the right to inherit a
world that is at least as good as the one their parents inherited.
Children have a responsibility to think about how they will leave a better
world to their children, and, when they become adults, they have the right and
duty to act on this.
3. Right to influence the future
Children have the right to participate
in discussions having to do with the directions our society is taking — on the
large political, economic, social, and educational issues and policies — so
that children can help create the kind of world they will grow up in.
Adults have an obligation to communicate their views of these large issues in
terms that children can understand, and provide children with the same
information that is available to all adults.
Children have the right to understand how things change within society, and
to learn how to influence these changes.
4. Right to freedom of thought, opinion, expression, conscience, and
Every child has the right to express his or her opinion freely, and
adults should address that opinion with the child in every decision that affects
him or her. Children have the right to carry out research to help form these
Children have the right to express their views, obtain information, and make
ideas or information known.
Children have the right to form their own views in matters of conscience and
5. Right to media access
Children have guaranteed access to all
important communications media so that they may communicate nationally and
internationally amongst themselves and with adults.
6. Right to participate in decisions affecting children
the right to participate in all committees and decisions that make plans and set
policies that directly or indirectly affect children.
7. Right to privacy
Children have the right to privacy to the same
extent adults have.
8. Right to respect and courtesy
Children should be treated with respect
and courtesy by adults, as well as by other children.
9. Right to an identity
Children separated from their birth parents at
birth or at an early age have the right to know that this happened. Children
have the right to know their name, who their birth parents are, and when and
where they were born.
10. Right to freedom of association
Children have the right to meet with
others, and to join or form associations, equivalent to that held by adults.
11. Right to care and nurturing
Children have the right to have
nurturing and caring parents or guardians.
12. Right to leisure and play
Children have the right to leisure, play,
and participation in cultural and artistic activities. Children have the right
to a enjoy at least a few hours every day when they are free from worries.
13. Right to safe work
Children have the right to be protected from work
that threatens their health, education, or development.
Children have the right to have pocket money so that they may learn to manage
14. Right to an adequate standard of living
Every child has the right to
a standard of living adequate for his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral,
and social development, no matter how wealthy his or her parents are.
15. Right to life, physical integrity and protection from
Children have the right to be protected from all forms of
maltreatment by any adult, including a parent. This includes but is not limited
to: physical abuse, including torture, violence, hitting and slapping; harmful
drugs, including alcohol and tobacco; mental abuse; and sexual abuse.
Infanticide is prohibited.
No child shall be forced into marriage.
16. Right to a diverse environment and creativity
Children have the
right to have many different things, people, and ideas in their environment.
Children have the right to listen to music of their choice.
Children have the right NOT to have their creativity stifled.
17. Right to education
Every child has the right to education, education
that aims to develop his or her personality, talents, and mental and physical
abilities to the fullest extent, no matter how wealthy the child’s parents are.
Education should foster respect for a child’s parents, for the child’s own
cultural identity, language and values, as well as for the cultural background
and values of others.
Children have the right to an excellent education in any school. Schools will
differ not in the quality of the education they offer, but only in their
philosophies of teaching, and what professional specializations they stress.
18. Right to access appropriate information and to a balanced depiction Of
Adults have the obligation to provide children with information from
several different sources.
Children should be protected from materials adults consider harmful.
Children have the right to have reality presented to them in a balanced and
accurately representative fashion.
19. Right not to be exposed to prejudice
Children have the right NOT to
be taught that one group (racial, national, religious, etc.) is superior to
Section II: Articles that require social or national policies
20. The right to a clean environment
Children have a right to a clean
environment (water, air, ground, sea).
21. Right to a small national debt
Governments and countries must
decrease national debt which will have to be paid for by future generations.
22. Right to vote
Children over 14 have the right to vote on issues that
directly affect children, in all local, regional, national and international
23. Right to medical care
Children have the right to be kept alive and
in the best health and medical care science can provide, no matter how wealthy
their parents are.
24. Legal rights
Children accused of crimes have at least the same legal
rights as adults.
No child shall be institutionalized against her or his will without due
25. Right not to participate in war
Young people under 21 have the right
NOT to go to war.