23 May Child Rights Everyone Should Know
As of 2020, there were 8 million kids in Canada. Can you guess what these youth all had in common? The answer is: their rights! November 20th is National Child Day in Canada, and it is on this day that we honour the rights of these children and carry on our faithfulness to supporting these rights.
According to Children First Canada, there are 12 main areas of child rights that everyone should know. I will not go through all of them, but I have discussed a few of them below.
Number one is non-discrimination. Every child deserves equal treatment, no matter their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, physical appearance, ability, socio-economic status, nationality, or other personal identities.
Number two: Family. Every child has the right to live with their family. No matter the family’s structure, there should be a sense of belonging demonstrated, as well as a loving, supportive environment. Children deserve to feel an attachment to their family, they should not be separated from each other unless the parents are abusive, neglectful, or the environment is unsafe to live in. When the parents do not live together, the child should stay in contact with them unless this increases the chances of harm.
Number three: Health. Every child has the right to live. They deserve access to health care, nutritious food, clothing, clean water, electricity, and a safe home. Youth should learn proper health and hygiene rituals at school and home. Furthermore, they should have their mental, psychological, emotional, and physical health checked consistently.
Number four: Protection from harm. Every child deserves freedom from abuse. They should not have to experience harmful work, drugs, sexual abuse, human trafficking, physical punishment, emotional and psychological abuse, and any other forms of exploitation. They have the right to seek out legal and medical help if they are hurt and should be allowed to make complaints about abuse to a third party.
Number five: Identity. The national government must acknowledge a child’s name and national identity, and children must be informed about this. They also have a right to receive, access and pass on documents of their own identity.
Number six: Education. Every child has the right to an education. Primary education should be free and secondary education should be accessible to every child, thus, they should receive the highest level of education obtainable to them. Schooling should prepare youth to be able to engage as active citizens, teaching them about responsibility and community. This will also assist them in developing their own personalities, talents, skills, and abilities while learning to respect other’s rights and differences.
Number seven: Freedom of thought. Children have the right to speak, express, and share what they learn, think and feel. This can be done by any means of creative expression. Parents should teach children to express themselves while also respecting the opinions of others. Youth have the right to advocate for change, and to give their opinions on issues that affect them, so long as this does not harm others and they are taking the opinions of others seriously.
Number eight: Privacy. Every child deserves privacy. The law must protect children’s privacy in many different areas, including online and the use of technology. Personal documentation of youth should not be published for others to see. A child’s family, home, personal communication and reputation should be protected.
Overall, Children First Canada provided a great educational opportunity by publishing these rights. It is our job to spread awareness that children are to be treated as citizens that deserve to grow in a community that loves, cares, respects, and protects them😊
Adapted from Children First Canada (November 2, 2020). 12 Child Rights Everyone Should Know. Retrieved May 12, 2023, from https://childrenfirstcanada.org/blog/12-child-rights-everyone-should-know/