Human rights and child health


Dr Shanti Raman, SSWAHS – Community Paediatrics, Locked Mail Bag 7017, Liverpool BC 1871 NSW, Australia. Fax: +61 29828 6798; email:


Abstract:  Human rights are those basic standards without which people cannot live in dignity.

Children are at risk of human rights violations because of their vulnerability in society. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a United Nations (UN) treaty acknowledges that addressing children’s human rights requires special attention. In Australia groups such as children seeking asylum, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children with disabilities, children in care and children living in poverty are identified to be at particular risk. As individuals and collectively, we have had a long history of gathering information, advocacy and tailoring training to improve children’s health and well-being. A human rights approach and the use of the CRC provide an additional framework to do this.