How often we, as parents, try to teach our children their obligations, instead of focusing on their rights? The children’s rights differ depending on a family and its rules. In some families children can do more, in other families there are more restrictions. In some families children can’t freely develop their interests because they follow only their parents’ will. In other cases parents search their children’s bags and read their messages, violating their right to privacy. Yes, privacy! I know that parents are afraid of various dangers threatening their children but an honest conversation is much better than playing a detective. Besides, children should know their rights, be sure that these rights are guaranteed, and be able to object when their rights are violated. By this I don’t mean the everyday activities at home. Children’s rights – the first step to discover a new concept – are human rights, which are extremely important in our social life. I hope you agree with me.
Here is the list of the most important legal acts which guarantee children’s rights in Poland: The Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Act on the Ombudsman for Children. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that a child is an individual but because of their physical and psychological immaturity, they require particular care and protection of the law. So, what are children’s rights? I wrote down the most important ones and divided them into two groups.
Civil and public rights:
- The right to life and development;
- The right to personal identity: including name and surname, nationality, family bonds;
- The right to freedom, dignity, respect, bodily integrity;
- The freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
- The freedom of expression and the right to be a party to legal and administrative proceedings concerning the freedom of expression;
- The right to be loved;
- The right to be raised in a family and to have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated;
- The freedom from physical or psychological violence;
- The right to respect for dignity and privacy;
- A child cannot be forced to work;
- The prohibition of enlisting children under 15 to the army.
- The right to an adequate standard of living;
- The right to health and social security;
- The right to rest and leisure;
- The right to education and self-development;
- The right to cultural property;
- The right to be informed.
As you can see, we can enumerate many rights. I hope that I’ve convinced you to start a conversation about children’s obligations and rights. To make it easier, I suggest you download a short book prepared by UNICEF.