Article 31 General Comment adopted

Date: 3rd February 2013
Category: UK 1st periodic review

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted the General Comment on article 31 of the UNCRC on 1st of February 2013.

Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) states that:

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 main purpose of General Comments is to elaborate on how to interpret and implement human rights treaties, by providing guidance on the actions required by governments.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child adopted the General Comment for Article 31, the right to leisure, play and culture, amongst four others, including the best interests of the child; the right to health; State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on child rights, and a joint General Comment on harmful practices with the Committee of the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

The decision to adopt the new General Comment on leisure, play and culture was announced by Jean Zermatten, Chair of the Committee. The General Comment will become available in English on the UN website ( shortly, followed by translations into UN languages in due course.

The International Play Association (IPA) will also be sharing a short summary of the General Comment within the next few weeks.