All children everywhere have the same rights, no matter where they live or what they believe. Almost every government in the world has committed to respecting and protecting these rights. Yet still, so many children around the world are denied their human rights.
As the most universally ratified human rights instrument, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, spells out those basic human rights that all children everywhere are entitled to. Its underlying values, or "guiding principles", serve as a constant reference for the interpretation and implementation of children's rights.
- All children have the rights guaranteed by the Convention, without discrimination of any kind;
- The best interests of the child should always be a primary consideration;
- Every child has the right to life, survival and development; and
- The child's view should be taken into account in all decisions affecting his/her life.
Other rights include the right to a name, a nationality and family ties; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; the right to protection from all forms of violence; to an adequate standard of living; to quality education; and the right to play and rest.
We Want Children to be Heard
SOS Children's Villages works in the spirit of the Convention and we base our work on the principles outlined in the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. In particular, we support children who do not have parental care or at risk of losing it, their families and communities to improve their living conditions and tackle the root causes of that which undermines their well-being. We want children to be heard and to be able to claim their rights themselves, instead of being objects of care or victims of circumstance.
Through advocacy, SOS Children's Villages aims at sensitizing decision-makers to the concerns that these children face and influencing them to make changes in policies and practises that undermine the well-being of children without parental care.
In addition, children are encouraged and enabled to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and are guided towards taking an active role in their own development.