Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Articles 28 and 29

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Adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 44/25 (November 20, 1989). Entry into force September 2, 1990.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is a legally binding human rights treaty that obligates governments to guarantee special protections for the full range of human rights for children and young people under the age of 18. The U.S. President signed the CRC in 1995, but the U.S. has not yet ratified the treaty. Because the U.S. has signed the treaty, the government is obligated to refrain from violating the “object and purpose” of the treaty. The U.S. and Somalia are the only countries in the world that have not ratified the CRC. 192 countries have ratified the CRC. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child monitors whether governments that have ratified the treaty are meeting their obligations. Articles 28 and 29 recognize the right to education.

Article 28

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity, they shall, in particular:

(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;

(b) Encourage the development of different forms of secondary education, including general and vocational education, make them available and accessible to every child, and take appropriate measures such as the introduction of free education and offering financial assistance in case of need; 

(c) Make higher education accessible to all on the basis of capacity by every appropriate means; 

(d) Make educational and vocational information and guidance available and accessible to all children;

(e) Take measures to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates. 

2. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity and in conformity with the present Convention. 

3. States Parties shall promote and encourage international cooperation in matters relating to education, in particular with a view to contributing to the elimination of ignorance and illiteracy throughout the world and facilitating access to scientific and technical knowledge and modern teaching methods. In this regard, particular account shall be taken of the needs of developing countries.

Article 29 

1. States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to: 

(a) The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential; 

(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations; 

(c) The development of respect for the child's parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own; 

(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin; 

(e) The development of respect for the natural environment. 

2. No part of the present article or article 28 shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principle set forth in paragraph 1 of the present article and to the requirements that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.


United Nations General Assembly Resolution 44/25

September 2, 1990