You have the right to have a name and a nationality.
Article 7 of the UNCRC says that all children and young people have the right to a name and nationality, which they should be granted at birth. It also says that they have a right to – as far as possible – know and be cared for by their parents.
Knowing your parents
Article 7 recognises that not all children and young people can know who their parents are, as:
- it may be impossible to identify who a parent is
- a child's mother may have refused to identify who their father is.
Being cared for by your parents
Article 7 of the UNCRC is intended to be read alongside Article 5, which talks in more detail about how parents, guardians or family should care for a child or young person. Like Article 5, it accepts that there are some cases where children and young people should not be cared for by their parents.
Article 5 discusses how what parents do for a child or young person will change as they develop.
Article 8 discusses a child or young person's right to an identity as well as a name and nationality.
Article 9 says children and young people shouldn't be separated from their parents unless this needs to happen.
Article 10 says that children and young people should be able to know a parent even if they live in a different country.
Article 18 says parents should each have responsibility for bringing up their children and young people.
Article 20 says children and young people have a right to be cared for if they can't live with their parents.
Article 22 highlights that children and young people who are refugees have rights under Article 7.
Article 30 says that children and young people have the right to their own culture, religion and language if they are a member of a minority group.
This article is a simplified version of Article 7 of the UNCRC. The full text of the Article can be found below:
1. The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents.
2. States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless.
The Commissioner's office has an enquiries service that takes calls about children and young people who are at risk of harm.