It was around the 19th century that the rights of a child movement began. Before this, children were not really protected as they should have been. However, on the 20th of November 1989, an international treaty was approved by the United Nations.
This treaty is called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was put together in acknowledgment that the rights of a child need to be protected. Children’s rights fall into the Constitution of the United States. The constitution regulates all federal and fundamental laws.
In 1989, most countries had signed and sanctioned the treaty except for Somalia, South Sudan and the United States of America. To date, the US has yet to sanction the treaty despite the country playing a heavy role in 1989 drafting the treaty with the UN. The treaty officially came into effect in 1990.
The Rights of our Children
The UN marked the 20th of November as the Universal Children’s Day holiday in remembrance of the adoption of the international treaty in 1989. Below, are the basic rights of a child in the US.
A child has the right to life, an identity, and a nationality. A child also has the right to good health and medical care. Included with these rights is the right to live with his or her parents as well as the right to education. However, primary education is free yet mandatory.
Children are protected against torture, ill-treatment, wrongful arrest, and deprivation of independence. This also means they have the right to the freedom of expression and the choice of religion. Children are not allowed into the army if they are under the age of 15.
It is important to note that there are two classifications of laws of minors. There are basic children’s rights and basic youth rights. The latter is only relevant in the case that a child reaches a certain age. There are, however, organizations advocating for inter-generational equity.
Our children are the next generation leaders of our country, so let’s protect them!