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Child Rights
in Sri Lanka

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) defines a child as follows:

Every human being below the age of eighteen years no matter who they are, where they live, what their parents do, what language they speak, what their religion is, whether they are a girl or a boy, what their culture is, whether they have a disability or whether they are rich or poor.

There are 2.2 billion children on this planet, with over 4 million in Sri Lanka. Children are human beings in their own right, but are extremely vulnerable since they are dependent on adults for care and protection. Child Rights recognize their vulnerability and as such, that they also have special needs. They strive to protect them and preserve their dignity as individuals while catering to those needs.

Accordingly, all children have the right...

·   To be alive

·   To live in a safe environment

·   To access healthcare

·   To receive an education

·   To have their own identity

·   To express themselves

·   To receive support

·   To be protected, always

·   To be safe from any harm

·   To be free of corporal punishment

·   To be safe from exploitation (labour/trafficking)

·   To be free from sexual abuse (coercion/grooming/violation)

They have the freedom to feel safe, learn, play, say no, be happy, express themselves, ask questions and be hopeful. No child should ever feel trapped or scared; they should never be driven by fear, silenced or shamed. 

For more information, feel free to peruse the following resources:

Humanium, n.d. Rights of the Child: The meaning of the child and the rights of children. [online] Available at<>

UNICEF, n.d. Child rights and why they matter. [online] Available at

World Vision, n.d. Child Rights: History, Facts& How To Protect Them. [online] Available at

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