Why are child rights important in the current times?
Childhood is a very special and critical time for all the children out there – which is why it is essential to protect it. Children have the right to development, safety, and the ability to shape their own lives. They must be taken care of, nurtured, and encouraged as they move closer to becoming independent adults. More often than not, the source of this nurturing comes from adults in their homes. However, when the same adults are unable to aid a child’s needs, it is the State’s responsibility as the primary duty bearer to find an alternative that is in the best interests of the children.
Compared to any other group in society, children are the most affected by the actions or inactions of the government. In addition to having specific child rights in India that cater to their particular needs, they also have the same fundamental human rights as adults. Given that they are rarely in a position to speak up for themselves, it is essential that the legal system recognises and addresses their needs. Both children’s fundamental human dignity and the significance of ensuring their wellbeing and development are recognised by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It makes it apparent that a basic level of living should be a privilege shared by all children as a fundamental right.
Importance of Child Rights in India
The foundation for building a robust human rights culture is built on child rights, which also serves as a safeguard for future generations. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and the several treaties that have grown out of it, both state that “children are entitled to all the rights provided by the UDHR as human beings. They are additionally expected to get extra attention and safety through child rights in India. Children should be in a situation where they can rely on adults to look after them, uphold their rights, and provide them with support as they grow and realise their full potential.
Because they lack self-defence and depend on others, children suffer from human rights violations in a similar way as adults do – because they can be easy prey. They may be tortured and mistreated by officials in some states, they may be detained unlawfully or arbitrarily, and in some countries, they may even be given death penalties. Children have been ruthlessly harmed during wars, and many of them have fled their homes and become refugees. Those who were forced to become street children due to abuse or poverty may be imprisoned. Several are driven into child prostitution and other forms of exploitation as a result of child labour. All of these situations cumulatively affect millions of children worldwide.
The Government has a duty to see to it that children are given the opportunity to exercise their rights and do not face any kind of discrimination. The Convention on child rights in India should be applied independent of race, colour, sex, property, language, religion, political view or any other opinion, social, ethnic, disability, origin, birth or any other status. Both male and female children must be given equal access to opportunities. Those who face disadvantages, including poverty, physical or mental impairment, status as refugees, and membership in a minority or indigenous group are meant to have the same rights as other children. They are all meant to have access to basic education, growth, and adequate living conditions!
The foremost independent child rights NGO in India, Save the Children, works every day and especially during times of crisis, to give kids what they need.