The term "child" does not necessarily mean a minor, and can include adult children as well as adult non-dependent children. Children are generally afforded the basic rights embodied by the Constitution.
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment is said to apply to children, but excludes those not yet born. There are both state and federal sources of children’s-rights law. In other words, a child has many of the same constitutional rights as an adult has; however, if a child is under 18 years old, they do not have the right to vote.
[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]
- 25 U.S.C., Ch. 21 - Indian Child Welfare Act
- 42 U.S.C. § 1983 - Civil Rights of Children
- 42 U.S.C., Ch. 67 - Child Abuse Prevention and Adoption Reform Act
- 42 U.S.C., Ch. 7 - Social Security Act
- 42 U.S.C., Ch. 6 - The Children's Bureau
Federal Judicial Decisions
- U.S. Supreme Court:
- U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals: Recent Decisions Involving Children
- Uniform Laws Dealing with Children -- including:
- State Laws on Emancipation
- State Family Law Statutes
State Judicial Decisions
- N.Y. Court of Appeals:
- Appellate Decisions from Other States
Conventions and Treaties
- Convention Concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment (June 26, 1973)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 20, 1989)
- Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement & Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility & Measures for the Prot. of Children
- Convention Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the WorstForms of Child Labour
Key Internet Sources
- Federal Agency: Admin. for Children & Families of the U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs.
- Child Welfare Library
- Childrens' Defense Fund
- Children's Rights Council
- Nat'l Youth Rights Assoc.
- Child Rights International Network
- Children's House
- Voices for America's Children
- Nat'l Assoc. of Counsel for Children
- Childwatch Int'l
- Defence for Children Int'l
- ABA Center on Children & the Law
- ABA Steering Comm. on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children
- ABA Section of Litig., Children's Law Comm.