What Is The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of The Child?

1797 Words 8 Pages
The aim of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is to change the way children are viewed and treated no matter their background, using what the United Nations view as ‘fundamental rights’ to which every child is entitled to. This according to the United Nations should be ‘universailly applicable to the lives of every child’, with no expections to race, gender, ethnicity or religion. The intention of this essay is to challenge the favouritive idea that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child does aid and achieve this. This will be done by using examples of how certain articles in the United Nations Convention are not relevant to all children’s everyday lives. I will sum up the ideas addressed in this …show more content…
Ghana even adapted Article 12 so it could be included in the country’s Children’s Act. To summarise Article 12 of the UNCRC, the article entitles children the right to voice their opinion at all times on any matter which may affect them, for example, housing decisions and the day-to-day decisions made at home. These opinions have to also be taken seriously. At first glance this seems to be a positive shift for children in Ghana, however the Government has suggested that Article 12 was the most difficult to enforce, especially with it being apart of legislation in the country itself. This is because of a strong culture clash between the article and the way of life in Ghana. “Ghanaian social and cultural context, consulting children is not seen as a right that children should have or an obligation that parents must meet.” This has meant that Ghanaian children have been raised to believe expressing their opinion is wrong and not a right they have. Furthermore, children who do wish to voice their views are labelled as “social deviants, disrespectful, and are thus punished or insulted.” Like most other examples used throughout this essay there is a clear relationship between parents and child in terms of authority and owing your parents for your life, so children choose not to voice their opinion in fear of disrespecting their parents and bring shame …show more content…
Although some say it was an unnecessary duplication of the UNCRC, it does differ from the UNCRC. For example, unlike the UNCRC the African Charter does not include any guidelines on a ‘standard of living’ It could be suggested that this is because those who live in Africa are less wealthy than those who fit the ideology of the UNCRC. Also, the African Charter includes articles that are not included in the UNCRC. For example the ACRWC contains an article explaining the ‘responsibilities of children’ and has ‘more explicit reference to the family as the natural unit and basis of society.’ This again indicates that it is being tailored to the needs and way of life of these children’s cultures. Interestingly, although both documents are very similar, it could be argued that the African Charter has a more positive affect on the children in Africa than the UNCRC has on the children in Vietnam because it is more personalised to the individual child’s perception of the norm. However that is not to say an indivdualised charter or convention is the answer. It can still be argued that the African Charter does not take into account the ways of their own people. For example, one of the African Charter articles states “no child under 18 years can be recruited into the armed forces or take part in hostilities.”

Related Documents

Related Topics