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Ireland and the UNCRC

Ireland signed up the UNCRC in 1992 and in doing so, recognised that children under the age of 18 are ‘rights-holders’ and that their rights should be protected, respected and made real.

There are 42 articles in the UNCRC and the rights can be put into 4 groups:


Every child has the right to be alive, and to have their basic needs met. These needs are food, water, shelter, healthcare, a name and a nationality.


Every child, no matter who they are or where they were born, has the right to reach their full potential. This means they have the right to education, the right to develop their talents and abilities.


Every child has the right to feel safe and to be cared for. The UNCRC also recognises that there are children in the world that need special protection because they live in very difficult circumstances.


Every child has the right to be involved in decisions that are made about them and to express themselves freely.

The UNCRC says that all decisions that are made with children in mind, should always take ‘a child’s best interests’ into consideration. It is also important to remember that all rights are equal and that there is no right that is better than the other.

Where can I learn more about my rights?

For more information about children’s rights and to read facts, statistics and to hear what young people think about their rights, go to our dedicated website and click on the different children’s rights buttons.