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UN Children's Rights Article of the Week - 13

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This week's Article of the Week is:

Article 13:

You have the right to find out things and say what you think, through making art, speaking and writing unless it breaks the rights of others.

What does this mean?

Everyone has the right to express themselves, and Article 13 of the UNCRC makes it clear that this includes children and young people.

People can express themselves in all kinds of different ways, such as:

  • talking out loud
  • posting things on the internet
  • writing things for a book or newspaper.

As other articles of the UNCRC make clear, a child or young person should be able to express themselves regardless of their religion or culture.

People should take special care to make sure that children and young people with disabilities can express themselves. One way they can do this is through making sure information is easy for people with disabilities to read, access and respond to in whatever form they find useful.

Restrictions:

There are some limits to freedom of expression. These aren’t just in place for children and young people— the limits set out in Article 13 are exactly the same as the limits placed on the expression of adults. Some things the right to freedom of expression doesn’t let people do are listed below.

  • People can’t express themselves in a way that would harm the rights or reputations of others. For example, they don’t have the right to reveal private information about someone, or to say things about a person that aren’t true.
  • People can’t express themselves in a way that would threaten the safety of others. For example, they can’t tell people there’s a fire in a crowded building when there isn't.
  • People can’t express themselves in a way that would hurt members of their community.
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