Article 18

You have the right to be brought up by your parents if possible.

Article 18 of the UNCRC says that a child or young person's parents will normally have the main responsibility for bringing them up. They should both do this, both share responsibilities, and both be concerned with the best interests of the child or young person in their care.

If a child or young person only lives with one parent, their other parent should provide them with support. The form this support takes will depend on what that child or young person's best interests are. Children and young people shouldn’t be discriminated against if their parents aren’t married or never were.

Article 18 and the State

The State has a responsibility to assist parents where it can. People employed by the State who may be involved in a child or young person's upbringing in this way include:

  • people who run playgroups or youth clubs
  • school guidance counsellors
  • school nurses.

The State should review how it assists parents, to make sure it’s doing the best job it can.

Care

When it isn’t possible for a child or young person to be brought up by their parents, they should be cared for. Article 20 goes into more detail about going into care.

Related articles

Article 5

Article 5 says the responsibilities parents have towards a child or young person will change as they develop.

Article 7

Article 7 says children and young people have the right to know and be cared for by their parents.

Article 9

Article 9 says children and young people shouldn't be separated from a parent unless this is in their best interests.

Article 10

Article 10 says children and young people should be able to know a parent even if they live in a different country.

Article 16

Article 16 says the State shouldn't interfere in a child or young person's home life without good reason.

Article 27

Article 27 says that a child or young person's parents have a responsibility to provide them with an adequate standard of living, but that the State should provide this if their parents cannot.

Full text

This article is a simplified version of Article 18 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:

1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.
2. For the purpose of guaranteeing and promoting the rights set forth in the present Convention, States Parties shall render appropriate assistance to parents and legal guardians in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities and shall ensure the development of institutions, facilities and services for the care of children.
3. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that children of working parents have the right to benefit from child-care services and facilities for which they are eligible.

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Enquiries service

The Commissioner's office has an enquiries service that takes calls about children and young people who are at risk of harm.