I have the right to an education which develops my personality, respect for others’ rights and the environment.
Article 29 of the UNCRC says that a child or young person's education should help their mind, body and talents be the best they can. It should also build their respect for other people and the world around them. In particular, they should learn to respect:
- their rights and the rights of others
- their freedoms and the freedoms of others
- their parents
- the identity, language and values of countries including their own.
Education should prepare children and young people for a responsible life in a free society. It should teach them how to live in an understanding and tolerant way that is non-violent and that respects the environment.
Article 29 also says children and young people have the right to be educated in a place other than state school, such as a private school or by their family. The government shouldn’t make it so the only places they can study are provided by the State.
Education should help children and young people express themselves and help them respect the right of other people to do the same.
Education should help children and young people develop their beliefs and respect for the beliefs of other people.
This article is a simplified version of Article 2 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:
1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.
2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.
This general comment lays out the significance and function of Article 29 of the UNCRC, and sets out how States Parties should both implement it and monitor and review its implementation.