Wednesday, August 6, 2008

CHILD RIGHTS

Child Rights are fundamental freedoms and the inherent rights of all human beings below the age of 18. These rights apply to every child, irrespective of the child's, parent's / legal guardian's race, colour, sex, creed or other status.The essential message is equality of opportunity. Girls should be given the same opportunities as boys. ALL children should have the same rights and should be given the same opportunity to enjoy an adequate standard of living.Why are child rights important?Children are innocent, trusting and full of hope. Their childhood should be happy and loving. Their lives should mature gradually, as they gain new experiences. But for many children, the reality of childhood is altogether different. 2 million Indian babies will die before they celebrate their first birthday. More girl children will be killed at birth than in any previous year. At least 35 million children aged 6 – 14 years (if you believe the official statistics) will not be in school. 17 million children in India work.Right through history, children have been abused and exploited. They suffer from hunger and homelessness, work in harmful conditions, high infant mortality, deficient health care and limited opportunities for basic education. A child need not live such a life. Childhood can and must be preserved. Children have the right to survive, develop, be protected and participate in decisions that impact their lives.What are child rights? We focus on the 4 basic rights of children. In 1992, India ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child. The Charter of Child Rights (CRC) is built on the principle that "ALL children are born with fundamental freedoms and ALL human beings have some inherent rights". The Charter confers the following basic rights on all children across the world:
the right to survival - to life, health, nutrition, name and nationality
the right to development - to education, care, leisure, recreation
the right to protection - from exploitation, abuse, neglect
the right to participation - to expression, information, thought and religion
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