Child Rights In India
Updated: Jan 15
“Children are our most valuable natural resource” -Oliver Wendell Holmes.
In India, 39 % of the total population children hence it becomes logical to safeguard them and to remove their vulnerabilities by providing certain rights which are more than human rights by endorsing The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1992. According to Article 1 of UNCRC, the rights provided will be applied to Children who are under 18 years of age and according to Article 4, Governments should make these rights available to children, even all the organizations concerned with children progress should put effort and work towards the best for the children (Article 3 of UNCRC).
Some of those rights are summarised with references to various articles in The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC):-.
RIGHT TO EDUCATION:
To support the young children in education the UNCRC in Article 28 states that “All the children should be provided with education irrespective of any variations. The right to education includes both primary and secondary education.” In P. Unni Krishnan vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (1993 SCR (1) 594), it was held that “every citizen has a right to education under the Constitution” and in the case of M.C.Mehta vs. State of Tamil Nadu (1996 SCC (6) 756), it was directed that the children who are engaged in work should be discontinued from their employment to be assured education in a suitable institution by the state government.
RIGHT TO HEALTH:
According to Article 24 of the UNCRC, no child is deprived of his or her right of access to the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health care services. Medical care, nutrition, protection from harmful habits (including drugs), and safe working environments are covered under the right to health.
RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED FROM VIOLENCE:
Violence against children is prevalent and very harmful and as they have the right to be protected from violence. Article 19 of the UNCRC says that “children should be kept safe from all forms of exploitation, neglect, exposure to accidents, and violent images”.
RIGHT TO DEVELOP:
The UNCRC in Article 6 states that all children have the right to survive and the right to develop. The child should be gifted to raise in conditions that don’t influence negativity on their physical and mental well being.
RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED FROM SEXUAL ABUSE:
Regardless of their gender, and regardless of who they’re attracted to every child has the right to be protected from sexual abuse according to Article 34 of the UNCRC, nobody should touch them in ways that make them feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or sad. The government must protect children from sexual abuse and if a child is a survivor of sexual abuse, they have the right to recover from it.
Our Constitution has provided various rights to the citizen which directly or indirectly includes rights of children and once such rights are infringed there is a right of enforcement under constitutional remedies. A person can approach the high court to get his rights protected, not necessarily fundamental rights as per the Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.
How a child can access the above said right? A Public Interest Litigation can be filed by a public-spirited individual or a non-governmental organization against any of the respective agencies for the protection of the rights of the Children. Everyone should know the available rights for the children.
Convention on the Rights of the Child- https://www.ohchr.org/documents/professionalinterest/crc.pdf
UNCRC Simplified Articles, https://cypcs.org.uk/rights/uncrc/articles/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Manusri Ramakrishna is currently a student at Shanmugha Arts, Science, Technology and Research Academy, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. You can contact her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/manusri-ramakrishna-a479411aa/
Editor: Jayant Upadhyay
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