As you grow up you have the right to experience lots of different things and to have as full a life as possible. You should be able to go to school and get an education. It is also very important that you have a chance to relax, play and take part in other activities with your friends and family. When you are very young there are people who will want to have a say in how you live your life. That is because they want what they think is best for you and they want to keep you safe.
As you grow up you may not always agree with these people and you will want to express your opinion, especially when decisions are being made about you and your life. These decisions may be about small everyday things like what you wear, eat or what you watch on the television or they could be about bigger things such as where you live, who you live with or what school you go to. It is very important that you are aware of your rights so that you know to ask for help if any of them are being ignored.
Within the UNCRC there are three different kinds of rights:
- Survival and development rights
- Protection rights
- Participation rights
Survival, development and protection rights keep you safe as they show the quality of life that you should have, the care you are entitled to and what you should be protected from. Participation rights are important as they enable you to express your opinions, have your voice heard and influence the decisions which affect you.
Having rights does not mean that you should or will get what you want all the time. However, it does mean that you should always be safe and happy. Rights also mean that you should feel as though you have been listened to when decisions are being made about you.