In the UK, you are legally an adult at the age of 18, which means you can drink, you can get married without your parents` permission and you can choose. But do you know at what age teenagers are allowed to work in the UK? Or learn to drive? Or do you open a bank account? If a child has shared material online that they no longer want someone to see, they have the legal right to have that material removed, even if the content was posted by someone else. Even if a child is too young to understand the impact of their rights, it is still their rights and not those of someone else like a parent or guardian (Office of the Information Commissioners, 2021a). Legally, you are considered a child if you are under the age of 18. Until you reach that age, you can`t buy alcohol or leave things like education or training (although you can leave high school at the age of 16). But for many other things, the legal minimum age is 16. We looked at the law in England and Wales in some of these cases. A child may exercise these rights in his or her own name as long as he or she is able to do so. In Scotland, a person aged 12 or over is considered to be old and mature enough to exercise their data protection rights. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, competence is assessed according to the child`s level of knowledge. In Oxfordshire, the UK and most parts of the world, everyone has rights that must be respected – by law. You must be 18 years old to buy alcohol.

But if you are over 16 years old, you can drink beer, wine or cider with a meal, for example in a restaurant, if you are accompanied by a person over 18 years old. Children can also consume alcohol privately from the age of five. Some rights are recognized at the international level by agreements between governments. The United Kingdom has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) (PDF), both of which set out a number of children`s rights. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children Act 1989 both define a child as a person under the age of 18. The United Nations Convention adds that this is the case «unless under the law applicable to the child, the age of majority is reached earlier. In the United Kingdom, children have rights under certain laws before the age of 18. Each of the UK`s four countries has a Children`s Commissioner who is responsible for promoting and protecting the rights and well-being of children and young people: your legal rights at 16 mean you can work full-time (up to 40 hours a week) at the national minimum wage once you reach that age. You cannot work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. or in some environments until you are 18. However, there are a few exceptions to the minimum age limits.

For example, if you asked for the advanced rate of the mobility component of the personal independence payment, you can start driving at the age of 16. You can agree to pay a loan that was granted when you were under the age of 18. According to this law, children must be at least 13 years old to give their consent to the processing of their personal data by an information society service (ISS). Parents must give consent if the child is under the age of 13 (Office of the Information Commissioner, 2021b). An ISS is an online service that is usually commercial and provided upon request, such as social media platforms, apps, connected toys and devices, and search engines (Office of the Information Commissioner, 2021c). Children`s rights must be respected and protected online and offline (OHCHR, 2021). The United Kingdom signed the Convention in 1990. The Rights of the Child and Young Person (Wales) Act 2011 ensures that the rights of the child are mainstreamed into all laws and policies in Wales (Welsh Government, 2019).

Take action: Learn the rules for working legally if you`re a teenager and learn more about cyberbullying and online safety. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCED) establishes the rights of every child in the world: Office of The Commissioners for Information (2021a) What are the rights of children? [Accessed 26.11.2021]. In all countries of the UK, the age of consent (the legal age at which people can engage in sexual activity) is 16. It is the same regardless of the person`s gender identity, their gender identity, and whether the sexual activity takes place between people of the same or different sex.