Office move

We have relocated! Our new office address is: 

Thomas Clarkson House
The Stable Yard
Broomgrove Road
SW9 9TL 

Please note we are currently experiencing technical difficulties with our phone systems. If you have an urgent enquiry, please call 07402 113985


United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

What is the UNCRC?
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty that grants all children and young people (aged 17 and under) a comprehensive set of rights. The UK signed the Convention on 19 April 1990, ratified it on 16 December 1991 and it came into force on 15 January 1992.

The UNCRC is presently the most widely ratified international human rights treaty. It is the only international human rights treaty to include civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. It sets out in detail what every child needs to have a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood regardless of their sex, religion, social origin, and where and to whom they were born. All United Nations member states, except for the United States and Somalia, have ratified the Convention.

The Convention gives children and young people more than 40 substantive rights, including the right to:
•    special protection measures and assistance
•    access to services such as education and healthcare
•    develop their personalities, abilities and talents to the fullest potential
•    grow up in an environment of happiness, love and understanding
•    be informed about and participate in achieving their rights in an accessible and active manner.

The Convention is separated into 54 articles or sections covering different aspects of childhood and rights and freedoms.

The UK Government agreed to make all laws, policy and practice compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when it ratified it in 1991 (though it registered some reservations which have since been removed). As international law, the Convention is meant to be followed and should be referred to by courts, tribunals and other administrative processes when making decisions that affect children.

The Committee on the Rights of the Child is a body of experts monitoring the implementation of the CRC by States Parties to the Convention. The Committee holds regular sessions per year to review States Parties' reports on progress made in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention and its Optionsl Protocols.

Reservation on Article 22
ECPAT UK is proud to have successfully campaigned for the UK Government to remove its Reservation on Article 22 of the Convention with regards to immigration and nationality. When the UNCRC was ratified in 1991, the UK entered a general reservation to the convention as regards the entry, stay in and departure from the UK, of those children subject to immigration control, and the acquisition and possession of citizenship. This was withdrawn, meaning that the principles within the Convention are applied to all children, irrespective of their immigration status – enshrining ECPAT UK’s belief that all children are equal and deserving of their rights and protection.

Optional Protocols
Three Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child exist:


Copyright © ECPAT UK 2015.

Charity number: 1104948. Company Ltd by Guarantee: 5061385.
4A Chillingworth Road, London N7 8QJ. 
Tel: 020 7607 2136. Fax: 020 7700 5435.


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ECPAT UK is the leading expert voice on child trafficking in the UK and we offer a comprehensive training programme focused on safeguarding young people from trafficking, modern slavery, and transnational abuse. To find out more visit our training page

Latest updates

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ECPAT UK is calling on governments across the world to honour the commitment to eradicate child labour on global World Day Against Child Labour (12th June).

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An influential coalition of children’s’ rights charities, including ECPAT UK, have today called on EU and national ministers to end the disappearance, suffering…

British child abuser guilty of 45 crimes against Thai and UK children

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