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Children's rights

For a century, we've stood up for children and ensured their voices are heard. We wrote the treaty that sets out their rights, and we've upheld them every day since.

A hundred years ago, Save the Children was founded by remarkable sisters Eglantyne Jebb and Dorothy Buxton. In 1924, Jebb wrote the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the first inter-governmental human rights treaty, informing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

Almost every country in the world has signed up to the UNCRC - and real progress has been made in areas such as under‐5 child mortality, access to education and absolute poverty.

But many countries still fail to prioritise and promote children’s rights - especially the rights of children living in the worst forms of poverty and deprivation or affected by conflict.

We've been fighting for children's rights every day since our founding, inspired by the sisters' vision of a better future. 

How we're helping Fouad thrive

Fouad looking happy and holding an adult's hand in Lebanon

Fouad, six, lost his mum at nine months old, leaving him with his unwell grandparents and father, who has mental disabilities. As bombs fell on their home town of Aleppo, they had no option but to flee.

Fouad's birth was never registered and, without documentation, he was turned away from school - at the age of six, Fouad hadn't learnt to speak.

We supported Fouad's family, now in North Lebanon, covering the costs of enrolling him in nursery.

Now Fouad can speak and is even learning the alphabet. He says, "I like to go to school. I learn to write, I have a notebook. I can scribble."

  • 1 in 3 under fives has not had their birth registered, meaning they don’t have an official name or nationality
  • In half the countries where records exist, over 80% of children aged 2–14 have experienced violent discipline
  • Child labour affects 150M

We're calling on all governments to recommit to the UNCRC by focusing on three key areas:

  • Ensuring all laws fully comply with the UNCRC.
  • Increased government spending on children and ensuring that resources are being used effectively.
  • Establishing an independent ombudsman for the protection and promotion of child rights in every country, and setting up an international complaints procedure for the UNCRC.
  • Ethiopia: Creating child-to-child support groups to discuss their rights & raise concerns on outside issues.
  • Somalia: With partners TASS, teaching communities about children’s rights & protection for an FGM-prevention programme.
  • Syria, Jordan & Lebanon: Educating young people & parents about children's reproductive rights.
  • Yemen: Giving children living amid conflict in Yemen a safe place to play and learn.

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