In our previous article, we talked about the rights to education and health of children. Today, we’ll briefly discuss the remaining fundamental rights for a child, the rights to food & water, a good family life, freedom, an adequate standard of living and also being protected from abuse and harm.
Food & Water
You know, I know, we all know: food is out-and-out essential for any living being especially growing children. Proper nourishing meals are vital for children to experience a healthy growth. Basically, food must be available, and to top that, it has to be accessible by children. Also, the access to food has to be continuous and stable. Finally, the food provided must be healthy. This is very important. Next, water. Science says that a person can go without food for 3 weeks, though it would nevertheless be a rather painful feat because going 3 weeks without food is more than just an unpleasant experience. However, no person can go more than 3 days without water. Now that’s how important water is. Having access to water is an essential right to a child as it is an indispensable resource for life and survival. Just like food, water must be available, accessible to children, must be of good quality.
From the moment a baby is born, he or she is given an identity. A name, nationality, acceptance into the society, a proof of existence. What does it feel like to have no name? No country? Every child has a right to be addressed by the name given. Each and every child has a right to be a national of their own country. It does not to do steal this right from a child, because without a name or a surname, without a country, without nationality, one has no identity, and with no identity, you are a nobody. This has to be stopped. Everybody needs to be recognized. A child has to be registered immediately after birth and have the right, from birth, to a name, nationality, and as much as possible, the right to familiarize with and to be cared for by his or her parents.
What is freedom? Based on Wikipedia, freedom means “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”. Freedom, in simpler words, means the power to do something at your own free will, by adhering to the law and also by respecting the rights of others. Children are entitled to have freedom of opinion, expression, association, thought, consciousness and finally religion. I believe, this is very, very important. Children may be young and fragile and vulnerable, so their opinions may weigh lesser, but that doesn’t mean they should not be allowed to freely express themselves.
Children have the rights to have an opinion which differ from their parents.. Every child has rights to meet and discuss with people they are associated with; to participate in this society. Children have rights to their own thoughts and also the rights to evolve together with their thoughts. Children have the freedom to choose their own life principles which they are most comfortable with, to adhere to, as long as it’s law-abiding. And finally, a child is entitled to have the freedom to religion, which lets them determine the religion of their own choice. This means, a religion doesn’t have to be enforced upon them.
Humanium, the international child sponsorship NGO, dedicated to stopping violations of children’s rights throughout the world, says that :
The right to life is a universally recognized right for all human beings. It is a fundamental right which governs all other existing rights. In its absence, all other fundamental rights have no reason to exist.
Simply said, the rights to life means being able to live, to grow up, to grow old. So basically, there are two essential aspects: having the rights to be protected since birth and also having the rights to endure and mature appropriately. All children are entitled to this rights. So, it might seem ‘trivial’ but in actual fact these things play heavy parts in the proper growth of our future generation and it is therefore so important to pay attention to them.
Which brings us to this. Protection. Children below the age of 18 are the most vulnerable and fragile beings. Their well-being needs to be taken care of by superior authorities (parents/teachers/family/community/state/etc). Being protected physically, mentally and socially is the fundamental right of a child. An effectual security is vital to the children’s well-being because, as defenseless people, they are more exposed to problems of exploitation, manipulation, discrimination and violence.
What is a child’s right? Know them. Demand them. Defend them.
Empower children to secure their rights. Thank you.
Bavaani Priya @ Preemikha
Written Content Manager
The Child Awareness Project
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