Understanding Children’s right to life

Right to Life

Understanding children’s right to life

The right to life is a universally recognized right for all human beings. It is a fundamental right which governs all other existing rights. In its absence, all other fundamental rights have no reason to exist.

For children, the right to life is the chance to be able to live and have the possibility to grow, to develop and become adults. This right comprises two essential aspects: the right to have one’s life protected from birth and the right to be able to survive and develop appropriately.


The right to have one’s life protected from the moment of birth

The right to life, an essential right for all human beings

The right to life is an inherent right for each and every person. From his or her birth, the individual is considered a living being who must be protected. In effect, the human character implies that the dignity of the person must be respected, something which proceeds, above all, from the protection of one’s right to live. Thus, from birth, all children have the right to have their life protected.


The right to life is the right not to be killed

The right to life means also the right not to be killed. It is the formal interdiction against intentionally causing the death of a person. For children, this right implies, on the one hand, that countries will not subject children to the death penalty, and equally that countries will effectively protect the lives of children by actively fighting against and condemning acts of infanticide.


The right of survival and of child development

The right of children to grow and suitably develop

The child’s right to life also proceeds through the necessity of assuring that children have the possibility to grow and develop under favorable conditions. It is then necessary for children to be able to benefit from appropriate healthcare,  a balanced diet, and a quality education, as well as being able to live in a healthy environment.


Countries’ role in promoting the survival and development of each child.

It is the role of countries, beyond the responsibility of parents, to ensure that children have the possibility to develop in a healthy and normal fashion, under all circumstances (peace, war, natural catastrophe. . .). They must guarantee a protection that is suitable for all children, regardless of their social or ethnic origins.

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