Article 3 is one of the most important articles in the UNCRC, and many other articles are related to it. It says that the interests of children and young people should be thought about at all levels of society, and that their rights should be respected by people in power.
In other words, it says adults should think about the best interests of children and young people when making choices that affect them.
When adults who know a child or young person think about that person’s best interests, they should:
- think about what’s best for them in their day to day lives,
- make sure they are protected and cared for.
When adults in positions of power think about children and young people’s best interests, they should:
- think about what’s best for children and young people in their day to day lives when making laws,
- make sure children and young people are protected and cared for,
- make sure that groups who protect and care for children and young people are good at what they do.
More in the Rights questions and answers section
Best interests are a general principle
Best interests are one of the four general principles of the UNCRC, which underpin how it should be interpreted and put into practice.
The four principles are:
- Non-discrimination (Article 2)
- Best Interests (Article 3)
- The right to survive and develop (Article 6)
- The right to have your views heard and taken seriously (Article 12)
General Comment on best interests as a primary consideration
General Comment 14 specifically focuses on a child’s right to have their best interests taken as a primary consideration.