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Child Protection: Understanding Children’s Rights

In any society, the protection of children is paramount. Recognizing this, Section 28 of the Bill of Rights underscores the importance of safeguarding the rights of children. These rights are not merely privileges but are fundamental entitlements that ensure the well-being and dignity of every child.

At the core of children’s rights is the acknowledgement that every child has the right to a name and nationality from birth. This foundational right establishes a child’s identity and connection to their cultural heritage and community.

Moreover, children have the right to family care parental care, or appropriate alternative care when removed from the family environment. This ensures that children are nurtured in a supportive and loving environment conducive to their growth and development.

Basic necessities such as nutrition, shelter, basic health care services, and social services are also recognized as rights for children. These provisions are essential for ensuring that children thrive and reach their full potential.

Crucially, children have the right to be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse, or degradation. This includes protection from exploitative labour practices and the right not to be required or permitted to perform work that jeopardizes their well-being or hinders their education and development.

Furthermore, children should not be detained except as a measure of last resort. When detention is necessary, it should be for the shortest appropriate period, and children should be kept separate from adults. Additionally, children have the right to be treated in a manner that takes into account their age and to have legal representation assigned to them in civil proceedings affecting their rights.

Importantly, children have the right not to be directly involved in armed conflict and to be protected during times of armed conflict. This ensures that children are shielded from the horrors of war and are allowed to grow up in a safe and secure environment.

In essence, the recognition and protection of children’s rights are fundamental to building a just and compassionate society. By upholding these rights, we affirm our commitment to nurturing the well-being and potential of every child, thereby laying the foundation for a brighter future for all.