Someone think of the children - the human rights of the child

Human Rights Law – Child Rights

Child rights and the proper care and treatment of children are an important part of human rights law. Over the years a number of important pieces of child rights legislation have been introduced in order to improve and maintain the treatment and overall quality of life for children throughout the UK. As well as this, there are also a great deal of human rights laws and regulations which have been put in place to safeguard a child’s rights in the event of the more common conflicts and disputes which can arise within families, such as in the event of a divorce or domestic abuse case.

Perhaps the single most important body that is associated with upholding child rights is the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child or ‘UNCRC’. From the 16th December 1991, the UK officially ratified the convention and almost all UK Child rights laws now abide by the regulations which were set up according to the UNCRC.

The huge collection of child rights laws which were set up by the convention are split into 54 separate articles, and as of the 15th of January 1992, children now have 40 different specific rights. Some examples include:

  • The right to live freely
  • Healthcare and educational rights, including social security and an adequate home life and upbringing
  • The right to a secure family life, and if raised by a single parent, the right to have a relationship with the other parent if possible
  • Freedom from abuse and exploitation

Once child rights were officially agreed upon by the convention, the Committee for the Rights of the Child was set up and is responsible for ensuring that all laws and regulations are properly followed in each country. In order to facilitate this, England has an appointed Children’s Commissioner whose job is promote awareness regarding child rights and public awareness.

In order to maintain child rights and to ensure that the child has the best possible upbringing, parents also have several different rights and responsibilities which they are legally required adhering to. The parents must be able to: give the child a good home, protect them, provide adequate education, be responsible for the child’s actions and property.

According to the laws regarding child rights, in order for a child to be employed a part time basis there are several important restrictions and factors which must be closely adhered to. A child may only work from the age of 13 or older (unless involved in acting, modeling etc), and may not work under certain conditions. According to child rights laws, a child may not work during school time, in an industrial area such as a factory, before 7 o’clock in the morning or 7 o’clock in the evening, or more than four hours without at least a one hour break.

If any of these regulations are broken the parents of the child will have been judged to have broken child rights laws and could be subject to an extremely harsh punishment.

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