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Åsa Regnér is no longer a government minister, Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality
Questions and answers on the Convention on the Rights of the Child becoming law (adapted for children)
The Swedish Government wants to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) into Swedish law. The CRC contains rules about children’s rights. Here are answers to common questions children may have about this.
What is the CRC?
The UN adopted the CRC in 1989. The CRC contains rules about children’s rights. These rules apply to all children under the age of 18. Nearly every country in the world has signed the CRC. When a country signs a convention, it promises to follow the various rules of the convention.
The rules of the CRC are divided into 54 articles. The articles say, for example, that children are to be treated equally, that adults must listen to children and that children have the right to go to school. In other words, children have special rights just because they’re children.
Why does the Government want to make the CRC part of Swedish law?
An inquiry that examined the rights of the child in Sweden found that adults do not always use the CRC the way they should. The Government wants to change this by making the CRC part of Swedish law. The Government feels that this will raise the status of children’s rights so that everyone will take children’s rights seriously.
If the CRC becomes Swedish law, all the rules of the CRC will be gathered in one act. This means that the CRC will be clearer and have better visibility.
With the CRC as Swedish law, the Government wants it to be clearer that children are to be considered rights holders. This means that children are to be seen as people with rights of their own.
What does this act mean for me as a child?
The act will make it clearer that you as a child have rights of your own and that those rights must be followed. With the CRC as Swedish law, it will be clearer that the CRC’s rules must be followed.
The act means that you as a child can be more involved in decisions that concern you. Adults have to listen to what you say. When adults take decisions that concern you, they have to think about and talk about what is best for you. Adults cannot just talk with other adults about you, – they have to talk with you about matters that concern you.
Is the Government doing anything else to strengthen the rights of the child?
Yes. Sweden has a special policy area for children’s rights. The Government wants Sweden to be one of the very best countries to grow up in.
The Ombudsman for Children in Sweden is a person appointed by the Government to represent the rights of children and young people, monitor compliance with the CRC, and provide information and spread knowledge about the CRC.
The Government wants everyone to know what rights children have and how the CRC should be used. The Government has therefore instructed the Ombudsman for Children to make sure that children and young people are able to learn about their rights, for example in school. The Government has also instructed the Ombudsman for Children to ensure that adults who work with children – in schools, hospitals, local government or other places – learn more about children’s rights.
If you want to learn more about children’s rights and the CRC, you can find more information on the Ombudsman for Children’s website.