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Rights of children violated
The United Nations, in its charter, has laid down rights of children in lucid terms, but as we can see all over the world, especially in developing countries, children are denied even basic rights. Before we discuss them, let us see what the UN, in its declaration for children, has to say on their rights.

1. The child shall enjoy all the rights set forth in this Declaration. Every child, without any exception whatsoever, shall be entitled to these rights, without distinction or discrimination on account of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, whether of himself or of his family.

2. The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.

3. The child shall be entitled from his birth to a name and a nationality.

4. The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health; to this end, special care and protection shall be provided both to him and to his mother, including adequate pre-natal and post-natal care. The child shall have the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

5. The child who is physically, mentally or socially handicapped shall be given the special treatment, education and care required by his particular condition.

6.The child, for the full and harmonious development of his personality, needs love and understanding. He shall, wherever possible, grow up in the care and under the responsibility of his parents, and, in any case, in an atmosphere of affection and of moral and material security; a child of tender years shall not, save in exceptional circumstances, be separated from his mother. Society and the public authorities shall have the duty to extend particular care to children without a family and to those without adequate means of support. Payment of State and other assistance towards the maintenance of children of large families is desirable.

7.The child is entitled to receive education, which shall be free and compulsory, at least in the elementary stages. He shall be given an education which will promote his general culture and enable him, on a basis of equal opportunity, to develop his abilities, his individual judgement, and his sense of moral and social responsibility, and to become a useful member of society. The best interests of the child shall be the guiding principle of those responsible for his education and guidance; that responsibility lies in the first place with his parents. The child shall have full opportunity for play and recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education; society and the public authorities shall endeavour to promote the enjoyment of this right.

8. The child shall in all circumstances be among the first to receive protection and relief.

9. The child shall be protected against all forms of neglect, cruelty and exploitation. He shall not be the subject of traffic, in any form.

The child shall not be admitted to employment before an appropriate minimum age; he shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education, or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development.

10. The child shall be protected from practices which may foster racial, religious and any other form of discrimination. He shall be brought up in a spirit of understanding, tolerance, friendship among peoples, peace and universal brotherhood, and in full consciousness that his energy and talents should be devoted to the service of his fellow men."

However, the children's rights as mentioned above are being flouted worldwide. While, there should be no discrimination among children on the basis of sex, it is seen that in many countries like India, the girl child is neglected and not adequately cared for. Even female foeticide is resorted to in large numbers. Education to girls is being denied in many countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan by Taliban extremists.

Then there is discrimination in many countries between children of various races. Such discrimination is being even tactfully carried out in the US where black children are discriminated against in a subtle manner.

There is also discrimination against children on the basis of their religion.

Many children in Bangladesh belonging to Bihari community have no nationality which infringes upon their right to a name and a nationality. Similarly, many Bangla speaking children in Pakistan have not been given any nationality. In India, the situation is worse for Dalit children. There have been instances when students from Dalit community have been attacked by students from upper castes in various hostels.

In many developing and underdeveloped countries, many children die at birth and proper healthcare, nutrition and education is not imparted to them. They are made to work by their poor parents when they should be going to school. Many children from minority community who are poor, are imparted education only in Madrasas so that they do not get properly educated.

Then there is also bonded child labour in these countries and children are forced to work in hazardous conditions, for example, in the manufacture of match boxes. Child trafficking is going on even in the developed countries and there are so many girl child prostitutes in all the countries. Then male children are also sexually exploited even by priests. Children are married off at an early age in India and other such countries and are often beaten and tortured not only by their parents and relatives but also by their teachers. Children are also used as shields in wars in many countries.

In view of the above, all governments across the World should do their best to protect the rights of children.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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