Children’s Right #2: The Right to Not Be Discriminated Against. Learn About Your Rights!

Children’s Right #2: The Right to Not Be Discriminated Against. Learn About Your Rights!

Did you know that everyone has rights? Children under 18 have special rights that are described in 54 agreements. By learning about your rights, you can also speak up for them!

Discrimination is when someone is treated unfairly or differently. It is also discrimination when a person is treated unfairly or badly because the person belongs to a particular group. People might be discriminated against because of their race, age, gender, politics, religion, the way they look, their disabilities, and many other reasons.

Discrimination can happen in many different ways. It can include being fired from a job, being paid less money than others at the same job, or being refused to play on a sports team. It can also be teasing or simply being treated differently than other people.

There are laws that protect people from discrimination. They say people should be treated the same, but discrimination still happens. No child should be discriminated and treated unfairly on any basis. All children have rights, such as the right to an education, healthcare and protection from violence, no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a boy or girl, what their culture is, whether they have a disability, or whether they are rich or poor.

You also play a role in helping to stop discrimination. How? First, pay attention and listen to parents, family, friends, classmates, neighbours, and community leaders. See what they have to say about discrimination. If you witness a friend or family member saying discriminatory things, you can talk to them if you feel safe to do so. If you see someone being bullied or teased, tell a trusted adult. This way, you are doing your part to stop discrimination!

All humans need shelter and food, for example, and these are rights that everyone has. But children also have additional rights such as love, protection, and support to grow and learn safely. In 1989, the United Nations (UN) agreed to a list of children’s rights that apply to all children in the world. It is called: The Convention on the Rights of the Child. Like most governments of the world, the Sint Maarten Government has promised to respect this list of children’s rights.

This six-part series is contributed by UNICEF The Netherlands and the Child Protection Working Group on Sint Maarten. For in-depth articles, visit

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