The Case for Children’s Right to Read

“Teaching children to read open’s up a world of possibility for them. It builds their capacity for creative and critical thinking, expands their knowledge base, and develops their ability to respond with empathy and compassion to others.”

THE INTERNATIONAL LITERACY ASSOCIATION (ILA) has long recognized the right to read as fundamental and inalienable. However, for too many children, this right is never realized.

In 2018, the ILA Board of Directors convened a task force charged with developing a worldwide campaign around children’s rights to read—and what needs to be done to ensure these fundamental rights. This task force is composed of ILA members from Australia, Ireland, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Their work yielded a list of 10 rights, of equal importance, that every child deserves. In The Case for Children’s Rights to Read, the ILA offers a glimpse into how and why each of the 10 rights were selected. Included is a reference list of the literature drawn upon when crafting the rights. Readers are encouraged to review these resources.