Youth Rights

Find out more about your rights

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) sets out the rights of every child and young person under the age of 18. The Convention has been ratified by 196 countries, including Fiji.

Please go to UNICEF’s website to see the Convention and the list of 54 Articles, each containing a specific right.

Some of the wording used to describe each right has been taken from the child friendly version of the CRC.

This page has grouped together a number of rights under headings and provides information on how you can PUT RIGHTS INTO ACTION in Fiji!

No Discrimination

The right of all children and young people to be treated fairly. No child or young person should be discriminated against for any reason.

Article 2 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Here is what the Human Rights and anti-Discrimination Commission of Fiji have to say about your rights.

Learn about the Rainbow Pride Foundation  a not-for-profit organisation in Fiji that advocates for the human rights of LGBT persons so that they are respected and are able to live with dignity, free from discrimination, persecution, and violence; and where their human rights are upheld. Its mandate includes promoting LGBTQI Rights and Equality, Social Justice and Health & Well-being.

 

Best Interests of the Child

Adults should always act in the best interests of the child or young person.

 

Resources

Fiji

PM Bainimarama’s message to children in Fiji, on the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In Fiji, the government is dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and welfare of children with the  Child Welfare Act

Learn about the Child Welfare Act here

Find services and support from the Ministry for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Fiji  including the Child services unit

Need legal resources, have a look at the Fijian Women’s Crisis Centre  

Youth Voice and Participation

Children and young people have the right to give their opinions freely on issues that affect them. Adults should listen and take children seriously.

Article 12 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Get inspired by the work of Citizens constitutional forum and all the work they are doing in advocating for good governance, multiculturalism and human rights.

Get informed about organisations such as Ignite4change and the work they are doing to ensure the voices of youth are included and heard in governance processes.

Also see UNICEF Pacific Islands

Life, Survival and Development

Children and young people have the right to grow up and survive and develop in the best possible way.

Articles 3, 6, 9 and 20 in the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Fiji Council Of Social Services (FCOSS) strives to strengthen communities and individuals experiencing marginalisation and disadvantages due to poverty.

Learn about Oxfam’s work in Fiji.

 

 

Respect for Children and Young People’s views

Children and young people can join or set up groups or organisations, and they can meet with others, as long as this does not harm other people.

Articles 12 and 15 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Have a business idea? The Young Entrepreneurship Scheme with the Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport is looking for young people with innovative ideas, see if you are eligible today.

Be inspired by the work of The World Young Women’s Christian Association (World YWCA) and the work they do to make sure children’s views are heard.

The network of Young Girls in the Pacific, working towards making sure policies and programs better understand the needs and voices of young women in the Pacific.

Get Involved, contact Pacific Women through their webpage.

Freedom of Thought and Religion

Children and young people have the right to use their own language, culture and religion.

Articles 12 and 30 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Get involved in your community with the Fiji’s Council of Churches.

For more information like this, visit the Pacific Conference of Churches and their work on climate change.

Protection of Privacy and Access to Information

Every child and young person has the right to privacy and have the right to get information from the Internet, radio, television, newspapers, books and other sources.

You also have a right to be safe online.

Articles 16 and 17 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Learn about Cyber Safety Pasifika a program that helps everyone in our community learn about technology and how to stay safe. We’re all in this together – let’s look out for ourselves, our family and friends, so that we all stay safe online.

In May 2018, Fiji’s Parliament passed the Online Safety Act to protect Fijians from harmful behaviour online.

  • Learn about the Act here

Interested in your privacy and protection online? Get Advice from the Online Safety Commission.

Learn about how you can protect yourself online with Get safe online Fiji.

 

Children and Young People living with disabilities

Every child and young person with a disability should enjoy the best possible life in society and not be discriminated against in any way.

Article 23 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Here are the links to the services and community groups for children and young people living with a disability in Fiji.  Frank Hilton Organisation (Charitable organisation in Fiji) .

Fiji Disabled People’s Federation another important organisation supporting people with disabilities across Fiji.

Fiji Sports Association for the Disabled (FSAD) contact 331 9178

Health, Food, Water and Environment

Children and young people have the right to the best health care possible, clean water to drink, healthy food and a clean and safe environment to live in. All adults and children should have information about how to stay safe and healthy.

Children and young people have the right to food, clothing and a safe place to live so they can develop in the best possible way.

Articles 24 and 27 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Health

Find information about Public Health services and Policies available to you from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

Become informed of the work by Medical Services Pacific, providing health and social services programs to women and youth.

Environment 

Hear from Young Voices: Fiji’s young climate change activist, AnnMary Vikatoria Raduva and her fight against the climate change crisis.

Access to Education

Every child and young person has a right to an education.

Article 28 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

See the amazing work of a local Non-for-profit in Fiji working towards making education accessible to all Fijian children. Foundation for the education of needy children in Fiji

Ministry of Education Fiji

  • Policies promoting children’s safety and protection in schools
  • Keep up to date with the Ministry of Education through their social page

See the work of Fiji Kids, assisting in educational scholarships for higher education, school sponsorship, educational packs and more.

Learn about Save the Children Fiji’s work to improve access to education and health care in Fiji.

Media release: Education to combat child labour in Fiji.

Rest, Play, Culture, Arts

Every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities.

Article 31 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

Ministry of Youth and Sports, keeping children and youth active in sport.

Get active with the Fiji Sports Council’s projects in your area or contact them here.

Be inspired by the Fiji Arts Council and their work in the preservation and promotion of art.

Interested in dance and celebrating your cultural heritage? VOU has dance classes for children and youth in Fiji and internationally.

Protection from Abuse and Exploitation

Governments must protect children and young people from violence, abuse and being neglected by anyone who looks after them.

Governments must make sure that children are not kidnapped or sold or taken to other countries or places to be exploited (taken advantage of).

Articles 16, 19, 32 and 35 of the CRC.

Resources

Fiji

For  child protection information or 24 hour free child help line contact:1325.

Fiji Women’s Rights Movement – work to prevent sexual harassment and abuse.

Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre – the Centre provides crisis counselling and legal, medical and other practical support services for women and children who are sufferers and survivors of violence committed against them by men. Contact:

Suva: +(679)331-3300 / +(679)920-9470
Nadi: +(679)670-7558 / +(679)918-2884
Ba: +(679)667-0466 / +(679)923-9775
Rakiraki: +(679)669-4012 / +(679)912-9790
Labasa: +(679)881-4609 / +(679)937-7784

Be inspired by Homes of Hope an NGO that provides support to girls and women that have experienced sexual abuse. Providing residential shelter, job training and reintegration into their community.

Get Involved in a child led initiative Kids Link Fiji, working to end child violence, child abuse and exploitation.

  • Read articles on the work they are doing and who’s involved.

Become aware of trafficking laws in Fiji from the ODPP Headquarters (Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions).

See also ECPAT a global network working to end the sexual exploitation of children.