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UNCRC Article 4

The Government should make sure my rights are respected

Article 4 of the UNCRC says that the Scottish Government and UK Government should both work to make sure the convention on children’s rights is known about and upheld.

This means that they should always try to make sure that the rights of children and young people:

  • are realised in practice
  • actively help children and young people to live safer and happier lives.

It also means that they should take steps so that children, young people and the adults who work with them all know about the UNCRC.


What governments should do to respect human rights are set out in the General Measures of Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). These say that:

  • Governments need to do everything in their power to respect children’s rights. They should makes sure that they provide the most money they can to make that happen.
  • Governments should make sure that children and young people know what their rights are.
  • Governments should help adults understand how to respect these rights.
  • When governments are reporting back the the United Nations about what they have done to respect children’s human rights, they should make sure that these reports are available to everyone, including children and young people.

Relevant General Comments

The Committee on the Rights of the Child has produced many General Comments that help people understand how the UNCRC works in practice.

Some General Comments relevant to Article 4 are:

  • General Comment 2, on the role of independent National Human Rights Institutions in the protection and promotion of the rights of the child,
  • General Comment 5, on the general measures of implementation of the UNCRC, and
  • General Comment 19, on public budgeting to realise children’s rights.

Days of General Discussion

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child facilitates Days of General Discussion where experts from around the world can discuss a child rights issue in detail. The reports of their discussions are a helpful tool to understand how the UNCRC should be interpreted.

Some Days of General Discussion relevant to Article 4 are:

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