About us

Article 39 is a small, independent charity which fights for the rights of children living in state and privately-run institutions (boarding and residential schools, children’s homes, immigration detention, mental health inpatient units, prisons and supported accommodation) in England.

We take our name from Article 39 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which grants every child who has been abused or suffered other rights violations the right to recover in environments where their health, self-respect and dignity are nurtured.

Strategic plan 2023-26
Our vision

We want England to be a country where children living in institutional settings feel loved and respected, and that they matter. We want the rights and dignity of every child to be realised without discrimination, and for children to be a top priority across government.

Our work

We promote and protect children’s rights in England through four complementary areas of work:

  • Awareness-raising of the rights, views and experiences of children – through our own work, and research and testimony published by others, we stay informed of children and young people’s views, experiences and priorities and keep them at the heart of everything we do;
  • Legal education – we provide an advice service and publish a range of legal resources to support practitioners to use the law in their day-to-day work with children and our pioneering rights4children.org.uk website provides children and young people with accessible information about their rights;
  • Practice development – we run a national network of independent advocates, with over 450 members, whom we support to give the best help to children and young people through peer discussion groups, online lectures and seminars and specialist resources and training;
  • Policy advocacy, research and strategic litigation – using our specialist knowledge and evidence from consultation with children, young people and advocates, we work to influence the development of law and government policy so that children are better protected; and we support and lead legal challenges when this is the best way of protecting children’s rights and securing long-term change. Read more about our legal work here.
Our values
  • We respect every child’s human dignity and worth.
  • Whenever we work with children, we place their wishes and feelings at the heart of decisions and actions and commit to genuine partnership.
  • We promote and protect every child’s rights on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.
  • We show persistence and determination in standing up to child abuse and other mistreatment.
Our people

Read here about our Patron, Trustees, team and others who help us reach our goals.


Sorry, we don’t currently have any vacancies.

** Our funders **

Article 39 does not seek or receive central government core funding.

We are extremely grateful to the trusts and foundations who support our vital work.


We are also very lucky to receive regular and one-off donations from supportive members of the public. If you would like to support our work, please visit our donate section.