Children's rights

We promote and protect all children’s rights and also those of young adult care leavers and young adults with other needs.

We work on children’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and also other international human rights agreements.

The law says we should work on the rights of all children with a focus on:

  • children who live away from home
  • children who receive social care services
  • vulnerable children.

We also make sure our work promotes equality and reduces discrimination faced by children and young people in particular, with regard to characteristics such as:

  • race, nationality, ethnic origin, or the colour of their skin
  • language they speak
  • religion
  • sex, gender or sexual orientation
  • whether or not they are disabled.


UNCRC Symbols Resource

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) Symbols resource has been designed to be used as a symbol communication tool for children and young people who are non-verbal, have speech, language or additional support needs. They can also be used to help communicate ideas and information about children’s rights to very young children. It's a joint resource produced by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland and the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.


Our priorities

  • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Young researchers will work with us to inform our submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the UK’s examination under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

  • Child Rights Impact Assessments

Children's rights impact assessments examine existing and proposed changes for their impact on children and whether they support the implementation of the UNCRC.

We have published a number of child rights impact assessments including the impact of the Autumn Statement 2013 and Budget 2014 and on changes to civil and prison law legal aid since April 2013.

  • Gender

We will be looking at what it means to be a boy or a girl from the point of view of children and young people. Young people are central to deciding the focus of the research and implementing the work.

Our previous work

We have had influence and impact in a number of areas relating to children's rights.

Simon Hughes, then Justice Minister, called for an urgent review of the impact of legal changes on children’s rights.

  • Child Rights Impact Assessment of the Budget and the Autumn Statement:

We conducted a thorough investigation on the impact on children in low-income households.

  • Reporting to international human rights bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child which monitors implementation of the UNCRC
  • Legal cases

We have been involved in a number of important legal cases which impact on children’s rights.



Our work on children's rights focuses on all Articles of the UNCRC.

Find out more about children's rights and the UNCRC.

Watch our animated video stories which bring the UNCRC to life and help young people to understand their rights.

Celebrating 25 years of the UNCRC - video and animation.


Learn more about our work on children's rights...