Creating a World Fit for Children: Understanding the UN convention on the Rights of the Child edited by Catherine Rutgers

By Katie Kamimoto

Children’s Rights: Historic Developments by Sandra Robinson 

The Declaration of the Rights of the Child is a simple document that states in five points that all children’s material and spiritual needs must be met, in times of distress a child’s should take priority, and children should not be exploited. Politicians like Hilary Clinton believed that children’s rights need to be ensured by the strong legal system of an enlightened society which understands that children from the age of 12, unless there was evidence otherwise, has the right to make a broad range of decisions from education to leaving an abusive home. 
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stresses that respect for and protection of children’s rights is the starting point for the full development of the individual’s potential to transition from infancy to adulthood. The Introduction and the Meaning of Children’s Participation by Roger Hart focus on children in the public domain: school, community groups, and other organizations. For children to have the fundamental right of citizenship there should be participation and responsibilities. The Rights of the Child to Express His or Her Views Freely in All Matters Affecting Him or Her by the United Nations General Assembly addresses to the General Assembly by emphasizing that the Convention on the Rights of the Child must constitute the standard in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child. 
Raising Standards for Child Protection by Garca Machel discusses how the international community agree on the importance of protecting children’s right and to ensure their protection as “zones of peace” but an effective international system for protecting children’s rights require prompt, efficient and objective monitoring. Committee on the Rights of the Child have recognized that the protection of children is not just a national issue but a legitimate concern of the international community. Although the international standards are there, children’s rights continue to be violated in situations of armed conflict because the political will to enforce them is lacking. 
Children’s rights is a big theme in our Learning Cluster because the children of the disappeared were taken when they were born and put in the arms of families with ties to the military who raised the kids on lies and never told the truth. Argentina has gone through difficult and tricky legal processes to ensure the rights of children, and for some, they have returned to their biological families and for some they have completely disowned their appropriators, challenging society’s assumption of the protective role of a family. 
Their ability and or their inability to make their own decision and their need for protection, mentally and spiritually, and their vulnerability in times of economic distress put children in a difficult spot when it came to their rights. These articles show throughout history, children are acknowledged to be an important part of society but when their rights are not fully protected, it puts them in danger. Hopefully with Argentina’s history, they can lead a precedent for other countries and their children’s human rights law to create a world fit for children, our future generation.

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