Children rights are a set of rights that all children around the world should have to grow up healthy, happy and strong. These include the right to have a legal identity and be protected from abuse. They also have the right to receive health care, education and food.
Child rights are enshrined in the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and are a key part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. When implemented, the CRC could help ensure that all children have their basic needs met, have access to quality education and health services and are safe from discrimination and violence.
The Convention defines children’s rights as “the fundamental principles underlying the rights of all children.” They are also defined as the “basic rights that every child has to be safe, protected and empowered to reach their full potential.” These rights include freedom from physical, emotional and sexual abuse; the right to receive an education; access to healthcare; and the right to life, liberty and security.
They are also based on the principle that a child’s best interests are paramount, as well as respect for their right to have their voices heard in decisions and actions related to them. This means that all aspects of children’s lives, including social, economic and environmental concerns, must be weighed against the need to protect and support them as they grow up.
Nevertheless, it is not always easy to ensure that children’s rights are fully protected. Even in countries where the Convention is a reality, children continue to suffer severe injustices.
These abuses can take many forms, from physical and psychological violence to child trafficking and child labor. They can also include forced marriage, illegal recruitment in the army or armed groups, and exploitation through extortion or kidnapping.
All of these abuses can prevent children from reaching their full potential and may have long-term consequences on their lives, both now and in the future. They can also have a serious impact on their wellbeing and mental health, especially if the violence is a result of a past trauma.
Article 7 of the CRC states that children should be treated with dignity and respect, including by ensuring they are not deprived of their rights or freedoms without adequate reason or justification. This is particularly true for children who are vulnerable, such as refugee and internally displaced children (IDPs), or children who have had to flee their homes because of conflict or natural disasters.
They should be able to have their rights upheld in any judicial proceedings, including those involving child custody or protection orders. The CRC and CRPD both place particular emphasis on the need for States to provide adequate legal assistance, such as expert lawyers or paralegal professionals, free of charge.
In addition to the legal rights that children have, they have moral rights as well. This is because children have a moral right to be respected as human beings, and to receive protection from harm, especially physical and emotional violence. They also have the right to be able to choose their own life path and pursue the life they want for themselves.