A School for Children with Rights: The significance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for modern education policy

Innocenti Lectures 2

  • Format
  • Author(s)
    • Hammarberg, Thomas;
  • Publisher
    • UNICEF ICDC, Florence
  • Date of Publication
    • 1998
  • Pages
    • 32
  • ISBN
    • 88-85401-36-8
  • IRC Stock Number
    • 19U
  • Publication Cost
    • free
  • Language
    • English
  • Other languages


The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that every child has a right to education. The purpose of education is to enable the child to develop to his or her fullest possible potential and to learn respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The general principles of the Convention which are relevant to education cover non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the child’s right to life, survival and development, and the child’s right to express opinions. These principles can serve as a useful instrument in discussions on how to reform schools. This paper analyses, in the light of the Convention, eight areas for progressive reform: universal access, equal opportunities, the appropriate content of education, cultural roots and global values, new methods of learning, mutual respect, pupil participation, and the role of teachers, parents and the community. It also examines the problems both of implementing and of paying for such reform. The author concludes that the Convention constitutes a useful agenda for creatng a school which is child friendly and which provides the most effective learning.


Thematic area

Convention on the Rights of the Child   /  Education   / 


convention on the rights of the child   /  education   /  educational policy   /  educational reforms   /  implementation of the crc   /  right to education   /