Many countries around the world consider it a fundamental right for children to have the opportunity to play. Under Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989):
“Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child, and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”
So far, 193 United Nations member states have ratified this treaty, which means that international law now binds them to promoting and protecting play, along with protecting other child specific rights and needs. Unfortunately, while the United States has signed the treaty we, along with Somalia and South Sudan, are one of only 3 member states yet to ratify it, making the treaty unbinding for us.