Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

CRC is an international human rights treaty adopted in 1989. The UK agreed to follow it in 1991.

By following CRC, the UK agrees that public bodies must consider the best interests of the child when doing anything that affects children. CRC protects the rights of children in all areas of their life, including their rights to:

  • life, survival and development

  • freedom from violence, abuse and neglect

  • express their views in matters affecting them, including in legal proceedings

  • education

  • an adequate standard of living

Human rights tracker

Search our human rights tracker to find all UN recommendations for CRC and other treaties. The CRC page has specific information on how it is monitored and if the UK is meeting international standards.

How the UK is doing

The UN last examined how well the UK is implementing the treaty in May 2016 and published its recommendations in July 2016. These included:

  • enhancing the status of the CRC and incorporating the treaty into UK domestic law

  • re-establishing targets for the reduction of child poverty, and assessing the cumulative impact of social security reforms on children

  • collecting comprehensive data on children’s mental health and increasing investment in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

  • reducing the impact of social background or disabilities on children’s educational achievement

  • ensuring meaningful sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum

  • strengthening protections of the rights of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant children

  • raising the minimum age of criminal responsibility

  • abolishing the use of restraint against children for disciplinary purposes

Our work on CRC

The most recent work we have produced as part of our CRC monitoring includes:

Last updated: 24 Jun 2022