International Day of Play - June 11 Every Year!!

The UN Convention and Article 31 - the Right to Play

Article 31

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child 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.

2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The UK signed the convention on 19 April 1990, ratified it on 16 December 1991, and it came into force on 15 January 1992. Every five years the government has to submit a report on progress, and the last one was in 2022.

The 2023 concluding comments from the Children's Right's Committee, which combined the 6th and 7th periodic review, were highly critical of the Government's approaches to play in England, suggesting that the Government:

(a) Develop a strategy, with sufficient resources, aimed at ensuring children’s right to rest, leisure and recreation, including free outdoor play;

(b) Integrate children’s right to play into school curricula and ensure that children have sufficient time to engage in play and recreational activities that are inclusive and age-appropriate;

(c) Strengthen measures to ensure that all children, including children with disabilities, young children, children in rural areas and children with disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, have access to accessible and safe public outdoor play spaces;

(d) Involve children in decisions regarding urban-planning processes, including public transportation, and in the development of spaces for children to play.


Click here for a link to the CRC comments

Click here for the body of the UNCRC text

The reports from the Government are corrupted on the UN site itself and cannot be accessed


General Comment 17

GC17 was adopted in 2013 to add more detail and address difficulties faced by particular categories of children in relation to enjoyment and conditions of equality of the rights defined in Article 31, especially girls, poor children, children with disabilities, indigenous children, and children belonging to minorities, among others. It also focuses on violence, the commercialisation of play, educational pressures and the impact of child labour on the right to play. 

Click here for a link.

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Reach out to the International Play Association (England) and discover how you can be part of our mission to promote children's right to play. Whether you have questions, want to collaborate, or want to join our membership, we're here to support you.