My rights and responsibilities as an adolescent and youth

We all have rights. These are so important that they are Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa, the highest law in South Africa. Each of these rights comes with a responsibility to uphold the rights of others; so our rights cannot prevent the rights of others.

It's important to know your rights, so that if someone does threaten them, you can do something about it. Talk to a trusted adult if you think your rights are being violated. Some of the most important rights, and the responsibilities that go with them, are:

The right to be cared for and protected by a family. With this comes the responsibility to care for and respect your family.

The right to free speech. The responsibility here is to make sure you don't get in the way of somebody else's freedom of speech. Be respectful of what others say, even if you don't agree.

The right to food, shelter, and a healthy environment to live in. It's up to you to value and take care of these resources.

The right to health care. Your responsibility is to take care of your own health, and to protect yourself from disease wherever you can.

The right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation. This comes with the responsibility to report it when you or others are abused.

The right to education. You are given the responsibility to make the most of the schooling you get.

The right to equality – this means that people shouldn't treat you differently based on things like your sex or gender, disability, sexuality, race or culture. It's important that you do the same for others, too.

If you want to learn more about these rights, check out a copy of the Constitution at your library or school, or here

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B-Wise User Dludlathando 14 June 2020 20:04

Hi, I told my boyfriend that I am ready to have sex with my him and I am 17 year old but I am afraid to have sex because I think I will have HIV

B-Wise Expert Expert 15 June 2020 12:10

Hello there,

Please read this article carefully:

Remember to think about going on contraceptives (the clinic can help you choose the best one for you) and to use condoms everytime you have sex.

B-Wise User Anonymous 29 May 2020 19:29

I wanna have sex so bad with my cousin his 16 and I'm 13 I already had my first period . so is it fine and he also want to have sex with me

B-Wise Expert Expert 31 May 2020 16:25


You are underage to have sex so it is not fine. Your cousin could get into trouble since he is older.

B-Wise User Hdannids 10 May 2020 17:28

Hii am I ready for sex I'm 13 years but I font have my periods yet

B-Wise Expert Expert 11 May 2020 11:13


Please read this article before deciding to have sex:

I would advise you to wait a bit longer before having sex as your body is not ready.

B-Wise User Stephenod74 15 July 2016 00:14

Treat others as you would have them treat you!

B-Wise User Anonymous 15 July 2016 00:02

I would like to Learn more.

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 14:09

Hi there, thank you for your feedback. You can read more articles on the site for more information