Young people have the right to receive health services and education, the right to play and rest, the right to be protected from violence and discrimination, and the right to be heard.
Adults, including your parents, teachers and organizations like the Commission, must pay attention to what you say and must help you defend your rights.
There are a variety of laws that guarantee your rights. These laws also describe adults’ obligations toward young people.
What are my rights? Which laws protect me?
Everyone in Québec who is under age 18 is protected by:
The Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms
- The Charter guarantees young people and adults the same human rights, like the rights to life, inviolability and freedom of expression.
- The Charter also protects young people from discrimination, harassment and bullying.
- The Charter requires your parents to give you the protection, security and attention you need.
- The Charter guarantees you access to free public education. You may also attend a private school if your parents prefer.
- The Charter guarantees that your parents can decide together about things that affect you.
The International Convention on the Rights of the Child
The Convention guarantees you the right to life, survival and development. You have the right:
- to live with your parent(s), unless it is bad for you
- to express your views and have adults listen to you and take you seriously
- to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others
- to food, clothing, a safe living environment and the healthcare you require
- to have or choose your own culture, language and religion
If you need protection, or if the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) is involved in your life, you are also protected by:
The Youth Protection Act
You have rights even when the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) is part of your life.
Your rights under the DYP
If you are suspected of having committed a criminal offence, you are also protected by:
The Youth Criminal Justice Act
The Youth Criminal Justice Act holds young people accountable for their actions and encourages them to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society. One of the ways it does this is through extrajudicial measures, which are measures that do not involve going through the courts.
How can the Commission help me?
The Commission can help you understand and defend your rights.
Learn about your rights
- Explore our website to learn about your rights and obligations.
- If you have a question about your rights, contact us!
If the Commission is unable to help you, we will refer you to the organizations or institutions that can.
Stand up for your rights
You should complain to the Commission if you think:
- you have experienced discrimination or harassment on the basis of your personal characteristics.
You should request intervention if you think:
- your rights have been violated (under the responsibility of the DYP)
Help promote young people’s human rights!
- Follow us on Instagram and YouTube.
- Ask us about training activities for your school or group to learn more about young people’s rights.
- Ask us for free leaflets and brochures to hand out at school and events.
Children talk about their rights
Children talk about their rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. (French only)