IBERO-AMERICA: First Youth Rights Convention

On 1 March 2008 the Ibero-American Convention on Young People’s Rights entered into force. The Convention, which is the only international treaty of its kind, sets out specific rights for young people between 15-24 years old and recognises them as strategic actors in development.

The Convention, which contains 44 articles, focuses on sexual and reproductive rights, political participation, and the right to be a conscientious objector, among others.

Other provisions detailed in the Convention include: the right to peace and a life without violence; non-discrimination on the basis of a number of grounds including language, religion, sexual orientation, physical aptitude, disability, and economic resources; a specific article against the death penalty; the right to justice, including the right to report violations, to a free legal defence, and equality before the law; the right to honour, intimacy and to their own image; the right to form a family, including to choose a partner freely; the right to political participation, to sex education, work, social protection, professional training, housing, a healthy environment, and the right to development.

Costa Rica became the fifth country to ratify the Convention on 1 February following Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Spain. In practical terms this means that any young person whose rights, as set out in the treaty, have been breached, can invoke the Convention as a legal tool in these countries.

Two organisations are lobbying for States to ratify the treaty: the Organización Iberoamericana de Juventud (Ibero-American Youth Organisation) and the Comisión Andina de Juristas (Andean Commission of Jurists). There is currently no mechanism to monitor the Convention, but ratifying States are required to submit a report every two years to the Secretary General of the Ibero-American Youth Organisation.

Read the Convención Iberoamericana de Derechos de los Jóvenes in Spanish

Further information


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