What are Child Rights?
Children are some of society’s most vulnerable members, because of this they require special care and protection. This is where child rights come into play. Child rights include the right to health, education, family life, play, good standard of living and protection. Generally child rights fall under four main principles:
- The right to survival – children have the right to life, nutrition and shelter.
- The right to develop – children have the right to play, learn and freedom of thought.
- The right to protection which safeguards children against abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- The right to participation, giving children the opportunity to express themselves freely and participate in society.
However, these children’s rights were not always recognised. Before the 19th century there were no policies or mechanisms in place to protect children. They were considered “miniature adults”. At the beginning of the 20th century, discussion around medical, social and judicial policies for children started. The first international treaty regarding children’s rights was the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1924. Since then a number of treaties have been signed including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, which consists of 140 signatures from world leaders, recognising that all children have the right to survival, development, protection and participation.
Aidlink and Child Rights
We believe in the protection of children’s rights. We also recognise that children’s rights are linked to women’s rights. It’s important to note that gender inequality effects children’s development and the development of communities. Children, both girls and boys, are largely impacted by the health and socio economic status of their mothers. By reducing and eradicating gender inequality, we are protecting children’s rights. Aidlink aims to make life safer, healthier and happier for children in target communities. In these communities, cultural barriers and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child-marriage often prevent girls from attending school. We are working to increase female student attendance. In 2016 we supported the construction of 29 primary school latrine blocks and 19 primary school tanks. We also trained 52 management committees and formed 12 Rights of Child clubs.
We at Aidlink believe it is essential to inform children of their rights so they are more willing to demand them throughout their lives! This year Aidlink continues to protect and promote children’s rights by ensuring that all children in target communities are attending school, regardless of their gender or ability.