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Learn about children’s rights with online courses and programs

The treatment of children is a global issue occupying a large space within the field of human rights. Children’s rights concern the health and safety of individuals under the age of 18. Gain knowledge that can lead to positive change with courses on edX.

What are children’s rights?

Children’s rights exist to ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of children. While different countries and belief systems have different concepts of childhood, it is generally accepted that anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child.

While there is no official bill of children’s rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a legally binding international agreement and commitment to the protection of young people. It is comprised of 54 total articles, which state:

  • A child’s rights are irrevocable and cannot be discriminated against for any reason.

  • Every child has the inherent right to life.

  • A child shall not be separated from their parents against their will.

  • No child shall be subjected to cruel treatment.

The rights of children are protected and upheld by many fields, including philosophy, law, politics, and ethics. Advocacy groups, government bodies, medical practitioners, and similar professional roles can have a direct impact on children’s wellbeing.

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Children’s rights course curriculum

Learning about children’s rights can be helpful for individuals pursuing a career in law or social services. In addition to mastering soft skills like problem-solving, empathy, and critical thinking, you can explore coursework that builds important knowledge for jobs that impact children’s rights.

With edX, you can gain a comprehensive education in children’s rights. Courses can cover topics such as:

  • Origins of child protection in international human rights law

  • Strategies, international laws, standards, and resources required to protect all children

  • How policymakers, lawyers, health workers, educators, law enforcement, and social workers work together to protect children’s rights

  • How to assess and strengthen a child protection system

Children’s rights are an international concern. You might choose to explore how war and global conflict impact children, the long-term developmental impact of child labor, and varying cultural norms around the world. You may also take your learning from theory to practice with hands-on exercises that demonstrate the complexities of children’s welfare.

edX’s online courses allow learners to study a variety of topics including children’s rights, international relations, and much more. ‌Enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to children’s rights

With knowledge of children’s rights and other relevant skills, you can pursue a rewarding career helping to advocate for and protect children. Some examples of the roles you may qualify for include:

  • Child rights advocate: Provides support to children, ensuring their safety and access to necessary services and resources.Footnote 1

  • Child rights lawyer: Upholds and informs laws regarding the rights of children under their legal counsel or protection.Footnote 2

  • Child and family social worker: Works with children and families to ensure their health and safety.Footnote 3

  • Child psychologist: Evaluates and treats child patients, working with other child care professionals when necessary.Footnote 4

  • K–12 educator: Teaches and observes children in an academic setting that fosters intellectual growth and development.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree or other credentials, depending on the industry and role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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