Rights are there to make sure everyone is treated fairly and well. Entitlements are things you can have or that you can access because of your rights.
All people have rights, known as human rights, and these cover basic things that people need to live in dignity.
As well as human rights, there are some rights that apply only to children and young people under the age of 18. These rights are set out in an international document called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. In the UK, the government has ratified the Convention; this means the government has to make sure every child in the UK has the rights that are listed in the Convention.
You can find out more about the United Convention on the Rights of the Child and the responsibilities of the government on the Law Stuff website.
Entitlements are things that should be provided to you to help make sure your rights are met.
There are some entitlements that might apply to everyone, and there are some that might apply to specific people based on their circumstances. Documents like laws, statutory guidance or policies say what entitlements you have.
Rights and entitlements can be really difficult to understand and apply to your own specific circumstances. If you're entitled to support from an advocate, one of the things an advocate can do is help you to understand your rights and entitlements, or help you to say where you think one or more of these isn’t being upheld.
One of rights in the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child is:
Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously.
All workers should uphold this right for any children or young people they are working with.
An advocate can help where you would like support in expressing or sharing your views, wishes and feelings to make sure they are considered.
Find out more about advocacy for young people, including how to get in touch if you would like support from an advocate.