Your rights

You have the right to your own life! Nobody else can decide who you should love or how you should live your life. Your rights are all about your needs, not those of your family or relatives.

You have the right to choose who to love, and who to have sex with – regardless of their sex! You have the right to not be abused and to believe, think, look and feel as you want. Your body and your sexuality are yours and no-one has the right to touch you, without your permission.

If you are under 18 years old, in practice this means that your guardians (those who have responsibility for you, usually your parents) may not decide how you should feel and think, or that you should never have any free time which you can spend with your friends. Of course they can decide on reasonable times for when you should come home at night, that you should do your homework and that not everyone is suitable to be out with all night. On the other hand, all children and young people have the right to security and the opportunity to develop. This is achieved through trust, love, education, the right to socialise with others, to go to the movies or cafés, to play football, learn to swim, etc.

Unfortunately, we know that many children and young people are not allowed to think, feel or live as they want to. Many feel that the laws just do not apply to them or their family. Many feel that they are invisible to society and that they live in two different worlds where there are completely separate rules for how one should behave. Maybe you are totally in love with someone, so much so that your whole body tingles, but you know that you can never tell anybody about it. Maybe you are a young girl who can’t hang out with your friend after school because she has a brother, or maybe you are embarrassed because your parent has an addiction. We know that you exist! There are many of us working for various organizations and authorities who, together, are trying to improve your situation. The rules that apply to children apply to ALL children. It does not matter if you live in Malmö or Haparanda, or even if you live in another country.

This part of the website deals with your human rights. They are inscribed in international documents, which a great number of countries have endorsed. It can be a little difficult to understand how human rights are connected to each other, or the laws which apply. On this page you can read about the rights which you have. You can also ask a teacher or another adult who you trust.

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