What is the Convention on the Rights of the Child?
Everything you need to know about the convention , its articles and our vision on it.
The Convention on The Rights of the Child
The convention was adopted and opened for signature on 20thNovember 1989

The Convention on The Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Convention defines a child as any human being under the age of eighteen, unless the age of majority is attained earlier under national legislation.
How is the Convention connected to Montessori principles?
Maria Montessori advocated for children's rights all through her life. That commitment guided her work. She spoke about the need for people to recognize that children have needs that are different from adults and need different support mechanisms. 30 years ago, the countries of the world adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which captured a lot of what Montessori had been advocating for. The rights of the child still guides the work of AMI, building on Maria Montessori's legacy. We have a duty to continue to advocate for those rights to our partners and to help children understand and articulate what their rights are.
"We are preparing to celebrate two important birthdays. Later this month we will celebrate the 30th birthday of the Convention on the rights of the child and next year we will celebrate 150 years since Dr. Maria Montessori was born. She was a huge supporter of childrens' rights. That work informed all she did all through her life. She spoke about the need for people to recognize that young people, children, have needs that are different from adults and need different support mechanisms. 30 years ago, in a very unusual show of global solidarity, the countries of the world adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. That Convention captured an awful lot of what Montessori had been advocating for a long time.
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There has been a tremendous amount of progress for children in the last 30 years. Many fewer children die before they reach their fifth birthday. Many more have access to clean water, many more are better nourished than they ever were before. Diseases such as small pox and polio have been eradicated. Most importantly, more children are in school than at any time in history. All positive, but there is a lot more that we still need to do.

These two birthdays coming together offers the opportunity to do two things:

To think about how to best prepare children for an uncertain and unpredictable future. I don't think any generation previous to this has had such a deluge of information to deal with. No generation has had to struggle so much to understand what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false, what is real and what is not. Our job is to help them make those sorts of decisions. I think this is where Montessori comes in to its own. Maria Montessori changed the world for children, we can do the same.

A few months ago, in Mexico, a group of senior Montessorians from across the world considered how best to celebrate the birthday of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They put together a statement that reiterates and repeats Maria Montessori's commitment and AMI's commitment to the rights of the child. I think we can do two things with that.

I would ask all of you to take that statement, bring it to the attention to your NGO partners and particularly partners in government, reminding them of their obligations to children under that Convention. Advocate to them where the gaps are in meeting the rights of children in their communities and countries.

But also, look into our classrooms, see how we can help children understand what their rights are. How best they can articulate and gain those rights. If we do that, we are not only preparing children who are better informed, who make better decisions in the future, but we are also leaving the legacy that all of us in Montessori, in AMI, have inherited from Maria Montessori herself."
Which articles does AMI promote?
In support of Articles 2 and 42 of the Convention we commit to reminding Governments and other decision makers of their responsibilities to ending discrimination from any cause. With a particular focus on those children living in situations of disadvantage, we commit to advocating for those provisions in the Convention which will impact them most positively, such as: access to equitable, inclusive, quality education that respects and celebrates diversity of cultures and languages (Arts 28/29), a standard of living adequate for their development (Art 27), the right to express their opinion (Art 12), the right to remain with their parents and family (Art 9).

With a particular focus on those children living in situations of disadvantage, we commit to advocating for those provisions in the Convention which will impact them most positively.
We have included the version of the Convention for children for discussion in classrooms. If you would like to access the official version of the Convention click here.
Article 1
Everyone under 18 has all these rights.
Article 2
You have the right to protection against discrimination. This means that nobody can treat you badly because of your colour, sex or religion, if you speak another language, have a disability, or are rich or poor.
Article 3
All adults should always do what is best for you.
Article 4
You have the right to have your rights made a reality by the government.
Article 5
You have the right to be given guidance by your parents and family.
Article 6
You have the right to life.
Article 7
You have the right to have a name and a nationality.
Article 8
You have the right to an identity.
Article 9
You have the right to live with your parents, unless it is bad for you.
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Article 10
If you and your parents are living in separate countries, you have the right to get back together and live in the same place.
Article 11
You should not be kidnapped.
Article 12
You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.
Article 13
You have the right to find out things and say what you think, through making art, speaking and writing, unless it breaks the rights of others.
Article 14
You have the right to think what you like and be whatever religion you want to be, with your parents' guidance.
Article 15
You have the right to be with friends and join or set up clubs, unless this breaks the rights of others.
Article 16
You have the right to a private life. For instance, you can keep a diary that other people are not allowed to see.
Article 17
You have the right to collect information from the media – radios, newspapers, television, etc – from all around the world.You should also be protected from information that could harm you.
Article 18
You have the right to be brought up by your parents, if possible.
Article 19
You have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated.
Article 20
You have the right to special protection and help if you can't live with your parents.
Article 21
You have the right to have the best care for you if you are adopted or fostered or living in care.
Article 22
You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee.A refugee is someone who has had to leave their country because it is not safe for them to live there.
Article 23
If you are disabled, either mentally or physically, you have the right to special care and education to help you develop and lead a full life.
Article 24
You have a right to the best health possible and to medical care and to information that will help you to stay well.
Article 25
You have the right to have your living arrangements checked regularly if you have to be looked after away from home.
Article 26
You have the right to help from the government if you are poor or in need.
Article 27
You have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means you should have food, clothes and a place to live.
Article 28
You have the right to education.
Article 29
You have the right to education which tries to develop your personality and abilities as much as possible and encourages you to respect other people's rights and values and to respect the environment.
Article 30
If you come from a minority group, because of your race, religion or language, you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practise your own religion, and use your own language.
Article 31
You have the right to play and relax by doing things like sports, music and drama.
Article 32
You have the right to protection from work that is bad for your health or education.
Article 33
You have the right to be protected from dangerous drugs.
Article 34
You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse.
Article 35
No-one is allowed to kidnap you or sell you.
Article 36
You have the right to protection from of any other kind of exploitation.
Article 37
You have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way.
Article 38
You have a right to protection in times of war. If you are under 15, you should never have to be in an army or take part in a battle.
Article 39
You have the right to help if you have been hurt, neglected, or badly treated.
Article 40
You have the right to help in defending yourself if you are accused of breaking the law.
Article 41
You have the right to any rights in laws in your country or internationally that give you better rights than these.
Article 42
All adults and children should know about this convention. You have a right to learn about your rights and adults should learn about them too.
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2019