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What is a Right?

We all have rights! Human rights are a set of standards (sort of like rules) that tell you what you are entitled to. They recognize and protect the dignity of human beings. They guide how people live in society and with each other. They also define the relationship individuals have with governments and the responsibilities that governments have towards individuals. Human rights law obligates governments to do some things and prevents them from doing others. Individuals also have responsibilities in exercising their rights – they must respect the rights of others in doing so. No individual, group or government has the right to do anything that violates another’s rights.

Human rights are:

  • Inherent – we are all born with them, they belong to us and we do not need to earn them
  • Inalienable – we cannot give them up and no one can take them away
  • Universal – they are held by all people, everywhere
  • Equal – no right is more important than another right
  • Indivisible, interrelated and interdependent – rights cannot be treated separately or in distinct categories because the enjoyment of one right usually depends on the fulfillment of other rights

When all of our rights are fully recognized and respected, we can reach our fullest potential (to be the best we can be).

Knowing and understanding your rights is important so you are aware of what you are entitled to. Here are some of your rights as a child or youth:

  • To be protected for all forms of harm and feel safe
  • To get the best education and health care possible
  • To be heard before a decision about you is made
  • To understand the decisions that impact you

To learn more about your rights, click on the links on this page, or call our office to talk to one of our Regional Advocates.

The Rights of Children and Youth

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