Child Rights: Most Important Topic for 2022 Competitive Exams

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for competitive exams : get questions, notes, tests, video lectures and more- for all subjects of your exam.

Who is a Child?

  • The universally accepted definition of child according to the United Nation Convention on Rights of Child (UNCRC) is “a child is every human being below the age of 18 years” which is an international legal instrument accepted and ratified by most of the countries.
    • India has always recognized the person below the 18 years of age as the distinct legal entity.
    • This can be seen in the minimum voting age or getting a driving license or getting into the contract.
    • Marriage of a girl below the age of 18 years and of boy below the age of 21 years is restrained in the Child Marriage Restraint act 1929.
    • India ratified the UNCRC in the year 1992 and India changed its law on the juvenile justice to ensure that every person below the age of 18 years who is in need of the care and protection is entitled to receive it from the state.
Child Services

What Are the Child Rights?

  • The constitution of India provides all the children certain right which has been specially included for them. These include:
    • Right to free and compulsory elementary education for the children in6 - 14 years the age group of 6 - 14 years of age. (Article21A)
    • Right to be protected from any hazardous employment below the age of 14. (Article 24)
    • Right to be protected from being abused and forced by economic necessity to enter occupations unsuited to their age and strength. (Article 39 (e) ) .
    • Right to equal opportunity and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and guaranteed protection of childhood and youth against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment. (Article 39 (f) )
    • Besides this they have equal rights as equal to citizens of India and just as any other male or female.

What is UN Convention on Rights of Child?

  • The most significant of all international laws for children is the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, popularly termed as CRC.
    • Some of its features are as follows:
      • Applies equally to both girls and boys upto the age of 18 even if they are married or have children of their own.
      • The convention is guided by the principle of ‘Best interest of the Child’ and ‘non-discrimination’ and ‘respect for view of the child’ .
      • It emphasizes the importance of the family and the need to create an environment that is conducive to the healthy growth and the development of the children.
      • It obligates the state to respect and ensure that the children get a fair and equitable deal in society.
    • It draws attention to four sets of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights:
      • Survival: includes right to life, standard of health, nutrition, adequate standard of living, a name and a nationality.
      • Protection: includes freedom from all forms of exploitation, abuse, inhuman or degrading treatment.
      • Development: includes right to education, support of early childhood care and development, neglect.
      • Participation: includes respect for the views of the child, freedom of expression, access to appropriate information, freedom of thoughts, conscience and religion.
    • Based on the nature all rights are divided into immediate rights (civil and political rights) , progressive rights (economic, social and cultural rights) . Immediate rights require immediate attention and intervention and progressive rights cover rights which are not covered in the first category.