Human Rights Issue & Perceptions Report:Significance and Nature of the Issue (Research Paper Sample)
A case study on Children's Rights
1. When you think of children’s rights, what are the first three topics that come to mind?
2. What is your familiarity with children’s rights?
3. What are the differences between children’s rights and human rights?
4. Do you believe children are better protected than adults?
5. If you believe in the ideology that children are better protected because of their age/innocence, why do we see maltreatment around the world?
Children’s Rights Case Study
There is a common misconception of the treatment of children: that a child is especially protected because of their young age and innocence. However, especially today, the opposite is the case. Many children, because of their vulnerabilities, are being taken advantage of across the board of basic human rights on a global scale. Around the world, a majority of the 2.2 billion children are exposed to terrorism, sexual violence, poverty, and little to no education at a young age. It is imperative that society comes together to tackle these issues in order to keep the future of the world stable.
On almost every continent in the world, children are exposed to massive amounts of violence. These issues range from terrorism to sexual violence. For example, children have become victims of deadly indoctrination by ISIS. Children are recruited by ISIS for fear of being left behind or killed. At an early age, they are taught a twisted ideology which teaches them that killing is a societal norm, in the name of Allah.
On the other hand, many young children are exposed to violence from human trafficking all over the world. A common misconception is that human trafficking means sexual exploitation. However, another form of trafficking exists: forced labor. Sweatshops are considered a form of forced labor, and millions of children fall victim to these two types of human trafficking every year.
Finally, exposure to poverty and little exposure to education negatively affects children as they grow up. Education standards vary drastically across the globe. In some countries, children may not receive education greater than elementary school. In other countries, children will never receive high school diplomas. When children who are victims of poverty do not receive an education more than junior or high school, they are left with little literacy they need in order to be successful.
Thousands of children die each year across the globe while millions of them are scarred by unlawful practices perpetrated by strangers, relatives, religion and community members. Violation of children's rights can be reasonably defined as harmful practices. However, the prevalent examples of violations described in this paper show that they on grounds of archaic traditions, culture, superstitions, and religion. Regrettably, these acts are largely perpetrated and enthusiastically disregarded by their parents or close relatives within the community. Children are the greatest victims of violence, war globally, and poverty globally. Although children's rights have been violated for centuries, the aftermath of the Second World War escalated the plight of thousands of them due to grave consequences of displacement and violence, especially in Europe. The severity of the matter prompted the creation of a new agency by the United Nations to provide basic needs to these children. Today, children continue to be grossly violated in the volatile world where they are exposed to profound shocks, lack of basic needs, early pregnancy, and other forms of violation that even contribute to high child mortality.
Most of the common practices involving gross and unlawful mistreatment of children do not just involve physical violation but also discrimination against children with disabilities or special conditions such as albinism. Many of the practices are based on superstitions and traditions, others on religion, and also false information or beliefs regarding human development and health. In some parts of the world, some practices involve extreme physical violence and pain that leads to death or chronic injuries. Other cases involve mental violence and torture, all which constitute an assault on the children's dignity and violate the universal standards on human rights. According to the Center for Human Rights on Children, the prevailing legitimacy and social and cultural tolerance of various of unlawful practices against children in diverse countries shows a distressing failure of universal and regional human rights measures to aggravate the essential challenge, prevention, and eradication (Center for Human Rights of Children, 2018). There is a need for comprehensive assertion of all states to the immediate obligation to show commitment to the protection of children's rights and reverence for their dignity as well as their physical integrity.
Malicious practices based on culture, tradition, superstition, or religion are often perpetrated against children who evidently lack the ability to consent or refuse consent on their own. Adults who assume the parental influences and rights over the children tolerate the commission of these harmful practices. Sadly, many perpetrators are actually the parents or individuals who have the parent's assumed or actual consent, like in the case of female genital mutilation (which is a common tradition for many communities in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia), which is a practice still commonly practiced by many communities in the developing world. Despite all these malicious acts, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by many states, encourage the elimination of the idea of parental responsibility over their children and favor placing tasks of safeguarding child's best interests as parents' rudimentary concern (Lindenmeyer, 2019). Nations continue to ignore or put little effort to guaranteeing basic safety and interests of children globally as many parents hold on to cultural, religious, or superstitions that continue to jeopardize children rights.
Every child has the right to quality protection, health, and education, and every state has a role to play in expanding children's opportunities in life. Yet, globally, millions of children continue to suffer and also denied a fair chance for no apparent reason other than the community, gender, social status of their families, or other circumstances into which they are born. In terms of poverty level around the world, children constitute nearly half of about 1 billion people living on less than US$1 a day (Foster, 2018). They are brought up in families that struggle to afford the basic health care and nutrition required to support them. These deprivations have lasting imprints to the affected children and devastating statistics about the number of stunted children. In addition, despite the progress made in school enrollment made around the world, the number of children of school-going age who are out of school continues to increase in the last decade. Research shows that about 150 million children under the age of 17 years around the world do not attend school. Two out of five children complete primary school without learning basic skills such as the ability to read, write or perform basic arithmetic (Foster, 2018). The challenge continues to be compounded by the growing protracted nature of armed conflict.
Furthermore, children continue to be recruited and used in armed conflicts by armed forces and groups. It is estimated that about 250 million children stay in regions characterized by armed conflict, with Afghanistan having the highest number of child casualties, followed closely by the Syrian Arab Republic. Similarly, in Somalia, children continue to be caught up in a perilous situation, with a record of 50 per cent increase in a number of children violations in the last five years as well as recruitment of hundreds of children into the armed militia, used, maimed, and killed in the war zones (Wertheimer, 2016). In the more devastating example, South Sudan, thousands of children were victims of all six grave human rights violations, particularly during brutal military attacks against the opposition forces.
Violence against children is a global issue that cuts across culture, class, or education. Cases of violence against children are reported in institutions schools, and at home. In modern society, peer violence has grown significantly, causing concern due to the growth of cyberbullying especially in social media. Children exposed to violence endure lasting emotional torture, loneliness, fear, and isolation, with little knowledge of where to turn to for help especially when abused by parents or relatives (Taylor, 2017). Risk of child violence may increase based on their gender, poverty, nationality, disability, or religion, with the youngest being more vulnerable since they are less able to defend themselves or speak up to seek support. Poverty has exposed many children in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa to early child labor. These vast inequalities not only lead to a violation of rights but also jeopardize the future of the children. They are exposed to perpetuate intergenerational cycles of poverty and inequality that impacts the stability of the societies and also the security of nations globally.
The researcher utilized the "Neighborhood Method" to collect data for this survey. With this methodology, one-on-one household interviews were conducted with the respondents. The respondents were not only asked about their experiences but also about the experiences of members of their family and their closest neighbors. This allowed faster collection of data about a larger number of people at lower cost. Written questionnaires were prepared based on six grave violations namely injury, recruitment, abduction, sexual abuse, and rape (Sprague, 2014). All interviews began with open-ended questions about the issues facing children in their neighborhood. The interviewer also collected information through loosely structured conversation rather than sticking to rigid questions.
A total of 15 households were recruited in the interview and were able to give information about the residents in their three neighboring households. Thus, the total population of interviewed households along with their closest neighbors in the survey is 60 households consisting of 102 children under the age of 17 due to the utilization of the neighborhood method. Out of the 102, 48 were children under the a
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