What are the basic rights of the child?

Every year, November 20 is dedicated to the International Day of the Rights of the Child, established following the adoption of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CIDE). Finally, what does this text, which is approved by 196 states, contain?

  What are the fundamental rights of'enfant ?

[Updated September 27 at 6:13 p.m.] Next November 20 will take place the International Day of Children's Rights. A symbolic date which marks the anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CIDE), adopted in 1989. One could wonder about the interest of this day, and yet this year again it is essential to highlight the cause of children. On our scale, during the year 2022, the French government has embarked on a national child protection strategy , as shown by the adoption of the law of 7 February 2022 on the subject. Even more recently, the first delegation for children's rights was created in the National Assembly. Other means have also been deployed in support of early childhood (the policy of the first 1000 days), in the education to combat all forms of violence against children, but also to protect young people from the dangers of screens and the Internet. Changes are taking place, but inequalities still unfortunately persist. Hence the importance of celebrating such a day to remember the goals to be achieved for future generations.

International Convention on the Rights of the Child, what is it?

To protect children, who are more vulnerable than adults, a International Convention on the Rights of the Child has been created in 1989. This fundamental treaty was unanimously adopted by the UN to recognize minor children as beings in their own right, bearers of social, economic, cultural, civil and political rights. These fundamental, mandatory and non-negotiable rights are thus registered in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. In total, in the world, 196 States ( except the United States ) are committed to defending and guaranteeing the rights of all children, without distinction, and to answer for these commitments before the United Nations. Namely that France was the second European country to have signed the convention, on August 7, 1990, just after Sweden. With this text, it is therefore the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history , precise l'Unicef . Concretely, this convention has 54 articles that determine what children are entitled to, to protect them from the world around them.

The 10 fundamental rights of childhood

The International Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out through its 54 articles the fundamental rights of children. Thus, each child has:

  • The right to have a name, an identity, a nationality;
  • The right to be cared for and protected from disease, to have a balanced diet and to have enough to eat;
  • The right to learn by going to school;
  • The right to be protected from all forms of violence, mistreatment, abuse and exploitation;
  • The right to be protected against discriminations ;
  • The right not to make war, nor to undergo it;
  • The right to have refuge, to be rescued, and to have decent living conditions;
  • The right to play freely and to have leisure;
  • The right to freedom of information, expression and participation;
  • The right to have a family, to be surrounded and loved.

Four fundamental principles are highlighted in these rights: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right to live, survive and develop, and respect for the views of the child. Three optional protocols have also been added to the original text: the first two aim to protect children from recruitment in armed conflict , but also against the sale of children (for purposes of forced labor, illegal adoption, organ donation, etc.), against prostitution as well as pornography featuring children. The third defines the international procedure which allows any child to file a complaint for violation of their rights, directly with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, when all remedies have been exhausted at the national level, specifies UNICEF. .

The figures of violence suffered by children

If the living conditions of children have evolved in recent years, many children's rights are still struggling to be respected in the world today. The international solidarity association Vision du Monde observes each year that 'millions of children are still on the sidelines and are victims of violence '. Among the important figures to remember that bear witness to these harsh realities:

  • 160 million working children worldwide, aged 5 to 17, an increase of 8.4 million children over the past four years;
  • Each year, 12 million girls marry before the age of 18;
  • Nearly 4 million refugee children are out of school, more than half of refugee children worldwide;
  • More than 200 million young women still alive have been victims of female genital mutilation ;
  • There are 300,000 child soldiers worldwide, 120,000 of them in Africa;
  • Globally, approximately 60% of children aged 2 to 14 experience regular punishments injuries to parents or caregivers;
  • 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 have experienced forced sex in their lifetime.

A national consultation for children

In 2019, for the 30th anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, a national consultation of the Defender of Rights titled ' I have rights, hear me' was conducted with children aged 4 to 18 years. In partnership with nearly 50 associations and structures that fight for the respect of children's rights in France, it has enabled 2,200 children and adolescents to make their voices heard to make things happen. The younger ones shared 276 propositions for the coming years. Here are some of the children's proposals as well as their testimonies:

  • Learn about children's rights : ' Young parents and professionals who work with children should be trained to know their rights.
  • The rights of unaccompanied minors : ' If I could give myself rights, I would make sure that the expertise on my age is done more quickly'.
  • The right to speak and be heard: ' Facilitate the right to protest for minors, in particular so that they can express their right to live in a sustainable planet'.
  • The right to education and leisure : 'The documents required for school registration should be simplified and standardized in order to allow children living in slums, squats, social hotels to have easier access to school',
  • The right to equality 'Parents often say to their children, 'Don't hang around with him. He's in a foster home.' I know because my friends tell me their parents told them. And that's before they even knew me. I didn't like being differentiated from the others.'
  • The right to the highest attainable standard of health : ' We should have the right to sleep and eat.'
  • The right to family life : 'If there is a placement of adults in a family, we must systematically reflect on the fact that the last born must also be placed. This avoids situations of 'sacrificed babies'
  • The right to age-appropriate justice : ' We would like there to be more counter-inquiries for Childhood Social Assistance (ASE) so that the decision taken by justice is not based only on a single right of inspection.
  • The right to be protected against all forms of violence : ' We should make more visits to the police station to meet the police, or that the police come more often to the school, to tell us about the violence.
  • Children's rights and digital : ' Add to school curricula, for children and young people, a module of critical education in the digital world'.

In 2021, the second edition of the consultation was dedicated to the Mental Health children and adolescents.

Source journaldesfemmes.fr