Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

What is the CRC?

The CRC is one of the most widely ratified international human rights treaties. This treaty promotes protecting children, provision, and promotes one’s ability to participate in matters that affect their lives. Its principles include “social, economic, cultural and protection rights, as well as civil and political rights. It serves to affirm that children…are entitled to additional levels of protection” (1). Article 12 contains a very important principle. It states that children have the right to a say in decisions that are made about their lives (2).

Did You Know?

  • The CRC was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989 and came into force in 1990 (2)
  • It has 54 articles about the rights of children (3)
  • The USA is the only country that has not ratified the treaty (4)
  • It protects children with disabilities from discrimination under Article 2 (5)
  • The CRC was adopted in 1989 and ratified in Canada in 1991

The CRC, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006), and the Convention on Elimination on Discrimination of Women (1981) differ in that the latter two treaties aim to remove discrimination on all levels for their respective groups, while the CRC enforces what rights children have (6).

Notes on this page:

1 Gerison Lansdown, Using the Human Rights Framework to Promote the Rights of Children with Disabilities: An analysis of the synergies between CRC, CRPD and CEDAW, (New York, UNICEF, 2012), 6.
2 Ibid., 7.
3-5 Ibid., 6.
6 Lansdown, Human Rights Framework, 6-11.

Prendergast, S. (2018). Disability Rights Information sheets in child friendly language. Prepared for Shaking the Movers/ Inclusive Early Childhood Service System project Youth Advisory Event, October, 13 and 14, 2018. IECSS: Toronto, ON. Accessed online: