CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
UNCRC 1989 the first instrument to incorporate a complete range of humanitarian human rights. Including civic, cultural, economic, political and social as well as humanitarian law. It’s an agreement of acceptable standards that all participating states should maintain in child development. A child as persons below the age of 18, unless the law of a particular country set the legal age. If age is below 18, then country need to increase level of care.
BASIC PROVISION OF THE CONVENTIONON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
Article 3 (Best interests of the child): All adults should do what is best for children. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children. This particularly applies to budget, policy and law makers.
Article 4 (Protection of rights): Governments have a responsibility to take all available measures to make sure children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
Article 12 (Respect for the views of the child): When adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account in judicial and administrative procedures affecting them.
Article 19 (Protection from all forms of violence): Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, physically or mentally.
Article 24 (Health and health services): Children have the right to good quality health care – the best health care possible – to safe drinking water, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment.
Article 28: (Right to education): All children have the right to education.
Article 32 (Child labour): The government should protect children from work that is dangerous or might harm their health or their education.
LIBERATIONIST VERSUS CARETAKER VIEW OF THE CRC
The liberationist view firstly prescribed that children should have all the rights adults possess like the right to vote, work, own property and have sex. Secondly it advocates that status crimes (those that are only criminalised when performed by children, such aspurchasing alcohol) should be abolished. The reason behind the liberationist view is that they see discrimination against children as equivalent to discrimination against any other social group. They consider age as an arbitrary way of determining who has what rights: it is not directly related to competence. Liberationists argue that children’s incompetence is an ideological construct used to perpetuate their dependence on adults: because children are presumed incapable they are denied opportunities to demonstrate (or even practise) their capabilities.
The caretaker view prescribes that Adults (family or state) should act paternalistically on children’s behalf, making the choices they would make for themselves, were they adults. Contrary to the liberationist view, the caretaker view maintains that Children lack the cognitive capacity and experience to make intelligent decisions, and lack emotional consistency unlike adults.
CRITIQUES OF CRC AND THEIR APPLICABILTY IN AFRICA AND NON-WESTERN CONTEXTS
The most common criticism of the CRC is its Eurocentrism, both in the concept of children’s rights it embodies, and in the detail of its prescriptions. The CRC is held to have been drafted by Western oriented groups who failed to recognise cultural and economic differences in the Third World countries especially in Africa.
Two distinct sets of critiques have emerged. The first relates to the emphasis of the CRC on children’s autonomy. Children’s autonomy is not universal, in most African’s countries children who are not yet major and mature cannot be dependent.
The second set of critiques centres on the representation of children as in need of protection. Ennew (1995) argues the CRC is based on a Western child, believed to belong inside the home, family and society. Children outside these domains street children and child soldiers, for instance that we can find in most third world countries become ‘outside’ childhood, and their needs are not addressed by the Convention. Many of the rights enshrined in the CRC, such as freedom from work, are simply unattainable by the poor, and render children living in poverty abnormal.
There are countless areas of life in which children may be permitted levels of protection or autonomy, and societies usually accord or remove different rights as children grow older and their needs and abilities change.
People in different social and cultural settings, with different concepts of childhood, have different ideas. This conflicts with the conventional Western view that rights are universal applying to all people on the same basis regardless of culture or individual characteristics. It also raises the question of who should determine children’s rights family, community, state or an international body.