Human Rights as to Children
Human Rights as to Children:
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights had stipulated under Art.25 (2) that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance. Following the same, the convention on the rights of the child was adopted by the General Assembly by consensus, on the 30th Anniversary of the Declaration on Nov 20, 1989 which came into force on Sep 2, 1990.
Who is a child:
The convention under Article 1 states that a child means every human being below the age of 18 years. Unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.
Rights of the Child:
A number of rights have been stipulated in the convention which includes the following:
(i) Right to life (Article 6 (1))
(ii) Right to acquire nationality (Art 7)
(iii) Right to freedom of expression (Art. 13 (1) )
(iv) Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Art 14(1))
(v) Right to Freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly (Art 15(1))
(vi) Right to Privacy
(vii) Right to family environment (Art.20)
(viii) Right to education (Art.28 (1)
(ix) Right to benefit from social security (Art.26 (1)
(x) Right to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual and social development (Art.27 (1)
(xi) Right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health (Art.24 (1).
(xii) Right to the protection of the law against arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy family, home or correspondence (Art.16 (1)
(xiii) Right against exploitation of child labour (Art.32)
(xiv) Right against sexual exploitation (Art.34).
(xv) Right against abduction, sale or traffic (Art.35)
(xvi) Right against other forms of exploitation on prejudicial to any aspect of the child’s welfare.
Child Labour in India:
The Indian constitution under Art.24 provides that no child below the age of fourteen years shall be employed in any factory or mine or engaged in any other hazardous employment. The above provision was made in order to protect children from exploitation and to provide them education so that they may develop their personality and may live a dignified life. Art.45 provides that the state shall Endeavour to provide free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years. Despite the above constitutional prohibition on child labour, children are working in a large number in hazardous as well as non-hazardous
work. India has the population of more than 380 million children – the largest population of children in the world. A large number of them are between the age group of 6 to 14 years. It is a difficult task to provide free education to them; similar task is to prevent child labour. It has to be seen that the tender age of children are not abused and that children are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength and that children should be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. Childhood is required to be protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment. The only way by which t can be prevented is to provide education to the children. Indian Government has estimated that the financial expenditure to implement the free education to child would be nearly forty thousand crore rupees. The Government alone is not responsible to incur such expenditure. It is also the duty of the parents and guardians to provide education to their wards as per Art.51 (A)(k) of the Indian constitution.