Rights of the Child

Australia became a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 22 August 1990 and ratified it on 17 December 1990. As one of the 196 countries that have signed the Convention, Australia is legally bound to this international agreement that sets out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities. 

To mark the 30th anniversary of this milestone, we are proud to launch six articles that cover a variety of perspectives on child rights. We would like to thank the academics and professionals who wrote these articles, sharing their knowledge in their respective fields of expertise:  

Rights of the Child in the Digital Environment

Children and young people are spending more time online, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way they access education and keep in touch with extended family and friends. More time online increases the risk of being exposed to online abuse, cyberbullying, sexual exploitation, sexting, grooming, and radicalisation. Under these circumstances, their right to be safe in the digital environment has never been as important. As always, it’s important to model safe internet behaviour, share online interests, and set some rules. The resources below offer a range of approaches ranging from frameworks to inform policy and practical guides to support child rights to online safety.

Resources to help children and young people to learn more about their rights

Child-friendly versions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

The United Nations CRC – The Children’s Version: child-friendly version of child rights (UNICEF)

Convention on the Rights of the Child: poster of rights of the child designed and written for children (UNICEF)

UNCRC Symbol Resource: children’s rights explained for children who use visual communication (UK Children’s Commissioners)

How to uphold and protect children’s rights

My Pocket Guide to CRC Reporting: an introduction for children about the CRC and its reporting process (Child Rights Connect)

Speak Up for Your Rights OP3 CRC: a child-friendly leaflet that explains how children can submit a complaint to the United Nations when their rights are not fully protected in their countries (Save the Children, translations in English, Spanish and Arabic but not yet available for children in Australia)

The Little Book of Children’s Rights and Responsibilities: summary of the CRC (UNICEF UK)

Australian Child Rights

Simplified versions of Child Rights: postcard, posted and video of child rights Australian Human Rights Commission)

Making Australia more Child Friendly: a youth-friendly version of the recommendations made to Australia in 2012 but still relevant about how to improve the lives of children and young people (Australian Child Rights Taskforce)

Australian Human Rights Commission: latest news, publications, projects and guides

Resources to help teachers explore child rights with children

Bringing Child Rights into Your Classroom: guide for educators on how to integrate children’s rights in classroom lessons and activities (SNAICC)

Adapting the Child-Friendly Example of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: a guide on how to work with children to adapt the CRC to their context (UNICEF and Child Rights Connect)

A Special Report on the Convention at 30 years: guide on issues that need urgent attention 30 years after ratification of the CRC (UNICEF)

Rights Respecting Schools: training and resources for schools committed to child rights (UNICEF UK)

Child Rights Education Toolkit: tips and tools on how to advance child rights education in a range of contexts; relevant to professionals, caregivers, corporate sector, media and children’s groups (UNICEF)

Supporting Young Children’s Rights: principles to help early childhood sector campaign for the rights and wellbeing of young children (Australian Human Rights Commission)

Children's Voices through Research

Researchers from the ACU Institute of Child Protection Studies have spoken to more than 1500 children and young people about what they need to be safe and feel safe and how adults and organisations can protect them from harm. On this page you will find three clips on the views and experiences of the children and young people in our research.

Children's Safety Study

A summary of findings from studies conducted by the Institute of Child Protection Studies (ACU) and the Centre for Children and Young People (SCU).

Safety of Young People in Residential Care

A summary of findings from a research study conducted by the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University, which explored the safety of young people in residential care.

How child abuse can be prevented – learning from a panel of young people

Listen to the discussion

Children and young people talk about their safety concerns

A short two page summary of the Taking Us Seriously.

Read more

Kids Helpline

1800 55 1800

This portal is aimed at people working in youth-serving organizations to help them better prevent and respond to harm to children.

If you would like to talk to a trained professional about what you’ve seen on the Portal, or need help, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.


If you believe a child or young person is in immediate danger, call Police on 000.

Emergency and safety

Further information

For further information on crisis responses and reporting child abuse and neglect, see: Australian Institue of Family Studies website.

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