Children’s Health Key Terms

Children’s Health Key Terms


Any individual aged between 10-19 years


Best Interests of the Child
In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.


All human beings under the age of 18 unless the relevant national law recognizes an earlier age of majority.

Child Labor
Children work for a variety of reasons in differing cultural, social and economic circumstances. Whether work is defined as exploitative will depend on a range of factors including the work itself, the work environment, the presence of particular hazards, the perceived benefits of work and the nature of the employment relationship.


Development Rights
The rights enabling children to reach their fullest potential (e.g. education, play and leisure, cultural activities, access to information and freedom of thought, conscience and religion).


Juvenile Justice
Children and adolescents held in custody for crimes may suffer torture and inhumane and degrading treatment; they may be unlawfully detained and be denied their right to a fair trial. They may be given sentences which damage their well-being and prevent their successful re-integration into society. The administration of juvenile justice is carried out in accordance with the best interests of the child.


Military Recruitment
An estimated 300,000 children and adolescents are engaged in armed conflict and are often forced into committing extremely brutal acts of violence. Children have a right to specific protection in situations of armed conflict.


Each child’s rights are ensured without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic, or social origin, property, disability, birth, or other status.


Children who are capable of forming his or her own views have the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

Participation Rights
Rights that allow children and adolescents to take an active role in their communities (e.g., the freedom to express opinions; to have a say in matters affecting their own lives; to join associations).

Protection Rights
Rights that are essential for safeguarding children and adolescents from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation (e.g., special care for refugee children; protection against involvement in armed conflict, child labor, sexual exploitation, torture and drug abuse).


Sexual Exploitation
Sexual abuse and exploitation can take a variety of forms including rape, commercial sexual exploitation, and domestic abuse.

Survival rights
The right to life and to have the most basic needs met (e.g., adequate standard of living, shelter, nutrition, medical treatment).


Young Person
Any individual between 10-24 years.

Any individual between the ages of 15-24.