The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC or the Convention) entails four fundamental principles that guide the application, implementation and interpretation of the Convention and are underlying in every right and every article of the Convention. In practice, these four principles are interconnected, cannot be applied without the consideration of another, and must be understood to be both normative (a right) and instrumental (a guide).
The principle of non-discrimination seeks to guarantee that every child, without exception, can enjoy their rights without any distinction based on the “child’s parents or legal guardian, race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, poverty, disability, birth or other status”.
“The best interest of the child” principle ensures that “in all actions concerning children […] the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration”.
The principle of survival and development grants the child not only the right not to be killed, but also to have their economic and social rights guaranteed to the maximum extent possible.
The principle of inclusion and participation establishes not only that every child can express their views, but also that every child has the rights that those views and opinions are respected.