Article 31: Leisure, recreation and culture


  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.

Children's right to play - often overlooked as a luxury by adults - is essential for children to advance and experiment with their capacities, develop social skills such as compromise and negotiation, and form relationships with others. But children's right to play has become sidelined because of budget cuts which impede children's access to recreational facilities; surging urban growth which swallows up green spaces; adults' fear of safety - both of predators and traffic; and the ever-increasing demands of work and study.