Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989 defines a child as any human person who has not reached the age of eighteen years.
Children’s rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, colour, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing ( Bandman, 1999).
Convention on the Rights of the Child: http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx
Bandman, B. (1999) Children’s Right to Freedom, Care, and Enlightenment. Routledge. p 67.