The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Children need special protection, and therefore have specific rights expressed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention grants children the same basic rights, regardless of who they are and where they live.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 November 1989, and ratified by Norway on 8 January 1991. On 1 October 2003, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was implemented in Norwegian law.

Children need special protection, and therefore have specific rights expressed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention grants children the same basic rights, regardless of who they are and where they live. The rights are political, economic, social and cultural, and apply to all persons under 18 years of age, regardless of nationality, gender, social status, religion and culture. The Convention is founded on the principle that the best interests of the child must always come first in all situations everywhere.

The Convention can be divided into four main areas.

All children have the right to:

  • life and health
  • education and development
  • participation and influence
  • care and protection

The best interests of the child must be a fundamental consideration of all actions affecting children. All public bodies and their employees are obliged to comply with and respect the rights of the child as expressed in the Convention.

General comments from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issues general comments on interpretation of individual articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and otherwise on particularly important questions. The general comments are valuable guidelines for interpretation and application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. All the comments of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child have been issued since 2005. The Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion has made available a Norwegian translation of the general comments.

Norway’s fourth periodic report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

Norway submitted its fourth report on follow-up of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. A report is also made here on follow-up of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.

Concluding observations on Norway’s fourth periodic report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

On 21 January 2010, Norway was examined by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on its follow-up of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The present report contains the concluding observations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to the Norwegian government, dated 29 January 2010. 

Previous reports to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the comments of the Committee

Collective page for previous reports and observations from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Review of the relationship between the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Norwegian law

A legal review of the relationship between the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Norwegian law commissioned by the Ministry of Children and Equality in response to a request to the Norwegian authorities from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to maintain efforts to ensure full harmony between Norwegian law and the Convention (Norwegian only).