Your rights in law

As a person, you have rights that apply to everyone in the world. These can be found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are held by all people, no matter how old they happen to be.

As a young person you have other rights, too. These are listed in a document called the UN Convention on The Rights of the Child, or UNCRC. You can find out more about the human rights of children and young people in our cartoon guide.

The United Nations

The United Nations, or UN, is a group of governments from around the world. They work to try and make the world a more peaceful place.

The UN created the UNCRC, and approved it in 1989. The UK government then signed up to the UNCRC in 1991. Find out more about what this means.

The UNCRC in Scotland

In Scotland it's the Commissioner's job to promote and safeguard your rights under the UNCRC. Tam looks after the rights of:

  • everyone under 18
  • everyone under 21 who has been looked after or in care.

The UNCRC explained

The UNCRC is an international agreement that countries – including Scotland  – should obey. Its four guiding principles are:

Article 2

All the rights guaranteed by the UNCRC must be available to all children and young people without discrimination.

Article 3

The best interests of the child or young person must always come first.

Article 12

The views of children and young people must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting them.

Article 6

All children and young people have the right to life, survival and development.

Find out more

The UN has more information on its website about the UNCRC and how countries around the world put it into practice.

Find out about your human rights on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Watch a video exploring the history of the UNCRC from Welsh organisation Funky Dragon.