All children everywhere are entitled to human rights, fundamental freedoms, dignity and equality under international human rights law. Children have the same general human rights as adults and also specific rights that recognize their special needs.
Meanwhile, youth is a period of transition from dependence to independence and autonomy. Young people experience discrimination and obstacles to the enjoyment of their rights by virtue of their age, limiting their potential. Promoting the human rights of youth entails addressing the specific challenges and barriers they face.
UN Human Rights has a mandate to support work on children's and youth’s rights in the United Nations system.
We work with rights holders and duty bearers via our country presences to improve the level of respect for the rights of children and youth.
We focus on reporting and activities for the Human Rights Council annual meeting on the rights of the child, as well as developing and advancing policy, and facilitating the participation of children with UN processes.
Youth represents a growing agenda within the Office. We strive to make human rights more relevant and more useful to young people. We systematically engage with youth throughout our work and endeavour to include them in UN work and meetings.
We also support the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children. In addition, we collaborate with the UN Youth Envoy and UNICEF.
The United Nations Study on Violence Against Children
This study analyses violence against children in five settings: the home and family; schools and educational settings; care and justice institutions; the work-place; and the community. It contains recommendations that represent a comprehensive framework for follow-up action.
Child-friendly info on children’s rights
This dedicated page for children explains what the Convention on the Rights of the Child is, and helps children understand their rights.
Children’s rights in relation to the digital environment
In 2021, the Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted its general comment No. 25 on children's rights in relation to the digital environment. This interpretative document is the result of an 18-month process which involved the consultation of 709 children and youth in 28 countries.
Who else is involved
Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children
The Special Rapporteur analyses the root causes of sale and sexual exploitation of children, identifies new patterns of the phenomena, exchanges good practices to combat it, promotes preventative measures, and makes recommendations for the rehabilitation of child victims.
Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
The CRC is a body of 18 independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by its State parties as well as the implementation of its two Optional Protocols.
News and statements
16 Feb 2024
Gaza: When mothers have to bury at least 7,700 children, very basic principles are challenged, UN women’s rights committee says
08 Feb 2024
UN Child Rights Committee publishes findings on Bulgaria, Congo, Lithuania, Russian Federation, Senegal and South Africa
Behind Closed Doors: Protecting and Promoting the Human Rights of Migrant Domestic Workers in an Irregular Situation
A/HRC/WG.11/40/1: Draft articles on prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity - Input from the Working Group on discrimination against women and girls (Advance edited version)
Guidelines on CEDAW General Recommendation No. 38 on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration
17 January 2024
A/HRC/55/50: "We are not just the future": challenges faced by child and youth human rights defenders - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
15 January 2024
A/HRC/55/55/Add.2: Visit to Uruguay - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children
05 January 2024
A/HRC/55/55: Study on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the entertainment industry - Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, Mama Fatima Singhateh
03 January 2024
A/HRC/55/55/ADD.1: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children, Mama Fatima Singhateh
28 December 2023
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights