Kids' Health
Visit website  
Home › Topics › Fun & Games > 

Rights and responsibilities for children

rights; responsibilities; social; skills; responsibility ;


What are our rights?

Our rights are what every human being deserves, no matter who they are or where they live, so that we can live in a world that is fair and just.

Some of our rights

Everyone has the right to have:

  • safety
  • education
  • homeshelter (somewhere to live)
  • warmth
  • food
  • clothing
  • personal space
  • freedom of speech
  • to be different
  • to feel comfortable
  • equal opportunities (given the chance to be what you want to be whether you are rich or poor, whatever religion or race).

Of course since these rights are for everybody, that means we all have to take on responsibilities too.

In Australia we are very lucky that almost everyone has what we think should be their rights. However in many parts of the world children and adults are not able to have things such as safety, shelter and food. They may live in war zones, refugee camps or areas where there are famines.

What is a responsibility?

Responsibilities are things that you need to think about and do so that they allow other people to have their rights supported, and they are some things that also support your community and the world.

They are some things that affect our lives and other people's lives.

Some of our responsibilities

  • to follow the rules at home, at school and in the community - after all they are there for our safety and to protect our rights and the rights of others 
  • conflictto stand up for our rights and the rights of others as much as we can
  • to be the best person that we can be
  • to take care of our own bodies as best we can
  • to respect the rights of others
  • to look after our own belongings and respect the belongings of others
  • to learn as well as we can
  • to care about others who are not as strong in some ways as we are.

 Can you think of other responsibilities that you might have?

What happens when people don't accept responsibility?

When people don't take on their responsibilities...

  • Other people lose their rights, eg. people could be bullied, treated unfairly, abused or feel unsafe.
  • It's unfair because other people have to do a job that is another person's responsibility.
  • There could be consequences at home, at school or in the community, eg. people might be punished or harmed in some way.
  • People could become less successful and happy than they might have been, eg. they might give up trying or keep away from people.
  • People could feel unsafe or unhappy, eg. they could be hurt or teased
  • People could be selfish and uncaring. They might not ever know the good feeling that people get when they share and care about others.
  • People won’t care about their belongings or those of others, eg. they could steal things or damage them.
  • People could find it hard to learn as well as they might. They could find it hard to stay on task because others were disrupting the class.
  • People won’t care about each other’s rights, eg. they might leave people out, not let them have a chance to speak, bully them or hurt their feelings.

bullying We would live in a very frightening world where people would be fighting each other to get what they wanted, and no-one would feel safe.

How do we learn about our rights and responsibilities?

 Everyone in the world is an important and special person.

As we grow up, we learn about being a unique person who is part of the world.

  •  First we learn the skills for working with and caring about all the other people in our small world of our family, our school and our neighbourhood.
     We learn skills like using good manners, taking our turn, sharing, being kind to others, thinking about others’ feelings, looking after our belongings and being truthful and honest.
  •  As we grow older, we add to our skills when we learn that we are all different, but just as special.
     We learn skills like listening to others, working with others, making decisions in small and large groups, learning to keep promises, admitting our mistakes and learning how to be a friend.
    learning skills
  •  peer group pressureAs we move out into the world, we learn more about the responsibilities which go with our rights. We learn that some things that humans do are not acceptable because we are not considering the rights of others - things like telling lies, cheating, bullying, violence, destroying other's belongings or property, and stealing.
    We learn skills like managing our time and our learning, looking after our bodies, dealing with bullies, recognising when someone is using lies to hurt others, keeping our belongings safe, keeping our promises and standing up for what we believe in.
  • Human beings have been responsible for most of the changes that have happened in the world. Many changes have made the world a very bad place for some plants, animals and even for other people.
     We all have to learn the skills of sharing the earth with other living things and to learn how each one of us can take some responsibility for making the world a cleaner, safer and better place. 
  • Have you heard the Australian saying 'give someone a 'fair go'? It means letting someone try to do what they want to without butting in. In other words it is about letting people take responsibility.

Dr Kim says

Dr Kim

If we want to have rights, then we have to act in a responsible way so that everyone and everything on the earth can have rights too.



Matching exercise

Click here to open the exercise

back to top

We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


Home › Topics › Fun & Games >