What is Article 31?

Article 31

“That every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts. That member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life. They shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational, and leisure activity.”

About the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – What is the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child?

An Overview

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international treaty that sets out universally accepted rights for children. It is a benchmark against which a nation’s treatment of its children can be measured. It brings together in one comprehensive code the benefits and protection for children hitherto scattered in a variety of other agreements, including the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted in 1959. The U.N. Convention also affirms that human rights contained in other treaties apply equally to children.

The Convention was officially approved by the United Nations in 1989 and has been ratified by every country in the world but one, the United States of America (currently 196). Ratification of the Convention is a commitment by these nations to comply with the articles of the treaty and thereby to protect and enhance the fundamental rights of children through their policies, programs, and services.

This remarkably comprehensive treaty not only incorporates current thinking about children’s rights but also demands that the world think more deeply about children’s position as citizens and more broadly about their development than has commonly been the case. It asks that we look holistically at children’s lives and hear their perspectives on issues affecting them.

As a result, it is leading many nations to address elements of children’s lives that have hitherto been ignored, but that represents our fundamental humanity. One of these – at the heart of children’s lives everywhere – is the right to play.

View this link for who and when countries have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child


General Comment on Article 31 of the CRC

The International Play Association (IPA) is proud to announce the release of a summary document on the General Comment on Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

IPA played a critical role in the General Comment and has written the summary for easy understanding and distribution. If you would like to translate the document into another language, please use our contact page and specify your comment for Reece Wilson.


IPA Summary- CRC General Comment #17 on a31

Article 31 of the Convention for the Rights of the Child