You have the right to the best health possible and to medical care and information.
Article 24 of the UNCRC says that healthcare for children and young people should be as good as possible, but also goes further than this by saying children and young people have the right to be both physically and mentally fulfilled. Among other things, this implies that children and young people:
- should have good enough nourishment from their food
- should be able to live in a safe and healthy environment
- shouldn’t be in danger at work.
Article 24 also says that children and young people have a right to information about their health. They should have a say in how they get this and be able to say what they like and dislike about the information they get.
Healthcare for young people
Young people should know about the health services they have access to. They should get information about physical and mental health, and should know about the services they can use if they have difficulties with either.
Young people have the right to get information about their health in private, without a parent or guardian’s knowledge. While as a child it might have been in their best interests for a parent or guardian to make decisions about their health, young people should be able to choose which services they need.
The extent to which a child or young person's parents have responsibility for the healthcare of their children will change as they develop.
Children and young people should have access to information that gives them good advice about their health.
Children and young people should get access to the best healthcare they can, regardless of whether they have a disability.
Children and young people have a right to be checked up on if living away from home for a long period, including in places such as hospital wards.
Children and young people have a right to a good enough standard of living – including adequate nutrition – and this is essential to their continuing good health.
Education should help keep children and young people healthy in body and mind.
Children and young people should be protected from all forms of exploitation to make sure their health is as good as it can be.
If a child or young person is recovering from any kind of trauma, they have the right to help and support.
This article is a simplified version of Article 24 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:
1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
2. States Parties shall pursue full implementation of this right and, in particular, shall take appropriate measures:
(a) To diminish infant and child mortality;
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;
(c) To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;
(d) To ensure appropriate pre-natal and post-natal health care for mothers;
(e) To ensure that all segments of society, in particular parents and children, are informed, have access to education and are supported in the use of basic knowledge of child health and nutrition, the advantages of breastfeeding, hygiene and environmental sanitation and the prevention of accidents;
(f) To develop preventive health care, guidance for parents and family planning education and services.
3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children.
4. States Parties undertake to promote and encourage international co-operation with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the right recognized in the present article. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.