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Children’s, Young People’s and Family Rights

Abstract

This document will base its discussion on children rights in consistence to the 1989 convention; it will then embark on the legality of the convention going further into highlighting the children rights as outlined in the convention.

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It will then narrow down to the special children’s groups to analyze whether they are getting a raw deal or not, it will then discuss the role of the government, society and family unit in implementing these initiatives as set by the convention, the swot analysis will be included in each outcome Our case study will reflect on the rights of children in foster care in transit to adoption if lucky or full endurance of the system, outcome one is the foster care system itself, it will discuss the problems associated with it and what hinders the full implementation of children rights in this category, and their protection, second learning outcome will dwell on implementation and evaluation on problems sighted in learning outcome one.

Introduction

UN Convention

Each child in the face of the world should grow up in a family environment, in a good atmosphere that provides happiness, love and understanding. The child should be given an avenue through which he can prepare himself to live an individual life in the society, which should offer him to experience peace, dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity (UN convention 1989). The UNICEF 1989 convention is based on a varied legal system and cultural traditions. Convention is universally acceptable which is not negotiable in regards to its standards and obligations. Regardless of the sex, gender, religion, opinions, wealth, birth status or physical abilities. The convention puts it right on the clear that no individual or government can infringe a person’s right as laid down by the convention. The standards set are interdependent and indivisible meaning some rights can’t be termed vital than others.

Legality

The convention is set on a legal platform that binds each and everyone in this world especially the children. In 1989 there emerged a need to enact a law that would protect the children of the world; by children it would cover people under the age of eighteen, who often need special care and protection. This convention also brought out the fact that children too had human rights to be protected and to safe guard them in the society. (Horwath 2002)

Children Rights

The convention clearly spells out children rights as, the right to survival, the right to develop to the fullest levels, the right to be protected from harmful influences from the environment in which the children dwell; abuse and exploitation, and the right to participate fully in the social, cultural and social life as they grow. The four core principles in the convention are non discriminatory, thev are coined in such a way that the interest of the child are put first, the right to life, survival and development; the opinion of the child should be respected.

The child should be treated with dignity and respect, the convention tends to protect these children rights by setting vital standards in areas such as civil and social services, healthcare, education and legal, services. Governments of the world have taken the initiative of signing the convention then this is a sure sign that they are committed to implementing the convention policies thus safeguarding the right of the children in its boundaries. (Munro 2002)

Children Rights in the Human Rights Frame work

For a child to fully realize his full developmental potential he has to be protected by the convention. In the convention they are protected from hunger, neglect and abuse. This 1989 convention thus brings in the concept that the child is not the property of its parents nor is the child a helpless object of charity. Thus the convention defines the child as an entity of the human race. The child is thus seen as an n individual, and as a member of a certain community and family.

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In thus doing the focus on the child development is taken care of from all stages in life. So many countries of the world have taken the initiative of recognizing the convention meaning more children are protected and are respected in the terms of their human rights. All children of the world are entitled to this rights and should not be taken as privileges, all children meaning the disabled the mentally sick the homeless the destitute and children in normal home settings. (Munro 2002)

Implementation of the Rights as per the Convention

Despite the existence of the UN convention children are still exposed to abuse, poverty, homelessness, neglect, preventable diseases, inaccessibility to education and justice system. This is to imply that its implementation has not yet been very effective some twenty years down the line. But as governments continue to rally behind the convention the hopes of realising the full implementation of the children rights are near.

The states are required to put in force laws and policies that need to be fully ratified, the government is the representative of the people in a country but the most basic unit of the society is the family unit this is to say that the family should practice the convention policies in order to realise its full ratification, from the family to the school setting to the public arena and then to the whole world let everyone take some responsibility in realising children rights are respected and recognised.

Our case study will narrow down to venerable children in the society, this are children who are disadvantaged in some way such as children with disability, mentally incapacitated children, children in contact homes, children under foster care and adopted children. This group of children somehow don’t get their rights in the full platter as they are underlined in the convention this is due to their venerability and lack of support from the communities and environmental setups. (Archard 2003)

Within the family setting what kind of rights they should enjoy, why are they getting the raw deal, what can be done for effective implementation on the convention concerning these special children with special cases? What role should the governments play in the implementation, protection and safeguarding of this group of children for them to enjoy their rights as children of this world. Our main concern will narrow down to the children who are under foster care and adoption, we will analyze and know the kind of challenges they face, the kind of children rights that they don’t get to enjoy the hardships they undergo and finally what they are entitled to from the family setting to the government level in policies and implementation (this will be included in the first learning outcome).

The second learning outcome will comprise of implementation , what steps has the governments, societies, communities and families taken to ensure that this children are taken care of well. It will show a case study of a work group setting that has made efforts into adding value to this group of children when it comes to them enjoying their full rights. The last paragraph of this study in learning outcome one will focus on the strength and weakness that this group of children experience in relation to the convention and their basic human rights. (Kay 2001)

Foster Care and Adoption- introduction

This discussion will mainly deal with children under foster care on transit to adoption these children are those that have no permanent homes. in most instances they become homeless due to being exposed to abuse and neglect, this may occur when their parents tend to be irresponsible by the sense that they tend to be drug addicts, this kind of parents become self cantered as they pursue ways of satisfying their selfish ends, this may cause the children to go days without food and basic needs. (Kay 2001)

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The parents most of the time are high thus they can’t protect their children from strangers, and from hunger thus this children are left on their own to fend for themselves and mostly the older children are left with the obligation to take care of the younger children. This situation robs the elder child the right of being and enjoying children rights because he has to look for food for the younger ones and again protect them. In the above scenario the child can be forced into doing things not right at the eyes of the law, for instance he might turn out to criminal acts such as being a petty thief who pick pockets others in order to take care of his siblings, this might land him into trouble with the law.

In this case when the juvenile is caught then the other siblings tend to go under social care, due to the high financial gaps in the system this children are put under foster care and if lucky they can get adoption, only a few of them get this privilege because the society segregates them and they are viewed as accidents waiting to happen this is by the fact that them having a bad background such as the one aforementioned above about drug abuse they might end up becoming core criminals. (Archard 2003)

These children rights are violated in the process of them being neglected by their parents and in the process of them being under foster care. In this two different settings this children’s rights are abused in different ways for instance: in case of their right to accessibility to education, as they are being neglected by their parents as their parents indulge in immoral activities such as being in criminal gangs, involved in prostitution, or involved in drugs the children right to education is denied.

These children can’t go to school as they are hungry, they lack money for bus fare, all in all their education fee is not paid by the parents thus they are denied the right to enjoy education which is fundamental in their developmental growth, which should arm them with skills to face their individual life’s in the society in later years, again this may push the children to child labour as they are idle and need money to survive yet again their right to survival is denied.

In the other setting of when they are under foster care their education is under threat by the sense that they are unstable after a few months they are taken to another household which means their education system also changes to go along with the one they have found in a particular household and environment this children at the end of it all , they will not have a clear sequence in their education this may make them disinterested in the whole education thing, this may also push them to drugs to counter attack the daily challenges that they face in the different households they go to.

Adaptation and flexibility in the short changing intervals that these children face after every few months is detrimental to their education. Another area that this children don’t get to enjoy their human rights is lack of acceptance, this children live their lives as unwanted children once they are taken to a family they face inferiority complex by the fact they are not assimilated to the family this is because after a few months they move to another house hold thus for them to be able to feel a part of the family becomes a hard come by.

This brings out the issue of every child matters children under foster care tend to collect different behaviours from different homes meaning at the end of the day they don’t realize whom they really are. (Horwath 2002) These children lack security and safety this is because they are exposed to sexual abuse, they are most vane arable as they change homes, some of these homes host paedophiles that at times take advantage of these children and because this children come from sorry homes they tend to consent on the advances, this is because of inferiority complex and weak voices that such children harbour.

These children may opt to runaway and become prostitutes as a way to earn a living or escape the torture they undergo in the different homes they settle in. They lack safety from strangers and drug abuse, when this children again land in homes with a background with drugs they may fall into this trap, this can also occur when they get exposed to the wrong people in the society falling prey into their tactics and traps.

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These group of children yet again are susceptible to drugs, sexual abuse and prostitution during their adolescence years when they are getting to understand whom they are and what they stand for this is because the society tends to send mixed signals to them some view them as dangerous little criminals, the society doesn’t accept them as unfortunate children ,it either hammers down the fact that they are from unstable situations thus they are beneficiaries or takes advantage of them by misusing them in immoral activities. (Wickham 2002)

The children are weak, they lack a stable foundation thus they trust each person that comes into their lives this increases the chances of them being taken advantage of and being misused. These children also face problems of alienation and segregation by other children; this can be detrimental in their self esteem in their developmental growth. Most of their time this is done through bullying both at school and at home (foster homes).

Their right to association and happiness is violated and not respected. These children will not grow to be effective individuals they will always feel insufficient and in need of someone else’s approval incapacitating them to individuals, who can’t make right-full and sound decisions, without consultation. What are the weakness and strengths of foster care programs in promoting children’s rights in safeguarding them and offering them protection.

Although the foster care homes are established with the right intentions’ of ensuring this children have stable lives by offering homes they tend to exhibit some fractures this come into play by the essence of instability that the children face, they live in constant fear of moving to the next home, of losing one’s siblings in case of adoption, segregation in case of the family setting lack of being accepted by the society that hosts you that treats this children in suspicion. In this program children are exposed to different changing environments that can be detrimental in their growth process and which play a vital role in the overall well being in the society in their later lives.

The strengths associated with this system is that children are able to enjoy regular food provision at the governments expense which is a positive thing, the children are able to enjoy regular shelter and a family set up but all this is in vain by the fact that in provision of the above the child needs ultimate protection from sexual offenders and strangers who take advantage of them and introduce them to drugs and prostitution as they lack self security and identity. (Kay 2001)

Implementation

What can be done to ensure that these groups of children get foster care as well as protection, and to ensure that safeguarding of their human rights are taken into account? The government has a role to play in this, the society has a role to play in this, religious and non religious groupings have a role and the basic unit of a family has a role too. (Archard 2003)

Government

The government has the largest role to play by the fact that it has laid the foundation of setting up the social welfares and identifying the foster care homes. In financial matters the government needs to provide a sufficient budget which will provide this homes with enough to cater for these children from their upkeep, to their food supply, to their well being health wise. (Archard 2003)

The government should put in place policies and structures that will protect this children , for instance when the government identifies a prospective home let it have systems in place to monitor the household members if anyone of them is a suspect in relation to drugs and sexual offences let this children be taken to another home. Social workers should be educated enough to be able to handle the households this goes to the government providing a human resource force that is competent at its work in identifying children in distress and identifying for them good homes and monitoring their progress regularly.

The government should also coin a way through which the children’s duration in a certain home is increased from mere months to around five years. (Horwath 2002) The government should encourage its society to embrace adoption this it will implement by creating laws that favour couples who adopt children under foster care for instance by the government offering such children scholarships and jobs after education.

This children morals need to be boosted by the government in conjunction with schools identifying the special care this children deserve for instance the school through its counselling sections should offer moral support, health advice, encourage sporting and talent developmental skills, this will distract the children’s involvement in drugs and prostitution not to add depression and segregation that they often experience. Juvenile children should be given a chance through which they can assimilate into a normal family setting thus there is need for the government to implement its juvenile laws, that gives this children a second chance in life other than labelling them criminals while most of the time they are victim of circumstances.

The government should implement policies that promote children over the age of fourteen to enable them to be eligible for adoption to negate the possibility of causing instability when siblings are disunited due to selective unfair law when it comes to adoption. By so doing it will be supporting the children’s right convention apart from signing it will be implementing this will go along way into protecting the children under foster care rights, and safeguarding them in protective measures. (Kay 2001)

The society

The society is the panacea of a country at the grass roots, it should take the responsibility of identifying distressed children among them, and it should take the initiative of identifying the children and reporting it to the authorities. It’s their social responsibility to take care such venerable children other than holding them with the outmost suspicion in respect to their backgrounds. They should open their doors into accepting these children into their homes and giving them the space to assimilate well into their families.

The society should not segregate these children and tag them criminals or outcastes this is because it will deny them the right to happiness in their developmental growth. The society should form support groups to support the families that harbour such children by giving them good will, joining in play group sessions, this is by allowing their children to play together with their children. The society should invent ways of teaching this children safety measures, drug awareness and by them forming positive parenting groups. This will uplift government’s initiatives in implementing and supporting the children rights convention. It will provide a ground network programme that interlinks the children and the government in realising its goals of protecting and safeguarding children’s rights. (Munro 2002)

Family unit

The basic family unit should learn to embrace children under foster care whom are entitled to their care by the government. They should take full responsibility of these children as if they are their own. Family members should be counselled on how to relate to these venerable children who are on transit; families should be willing to adopt these children into their families to become on e of their own. Again they should take all the siblings of one family other than segregating others this usually brings about instability and inferiority complex to these children. Being homely to these children is the most welcoming attitude to them, making them feel comfortable in their homes and treating them without malice.

The rights to these families again should be respected by the government and the society to give them ardent space to exercise their positive parenting skills to the latter. By these the households that cater too many children should be given enough support financially and socially, the family should not be at pains when it comes to settling bills to the point of tampering with their personal budgets. (Horwath 2002)

Non- governmental organisations

It has the role of policing and evaluating the governments operations when it comes to foster care homes policies, as well as themselves finding solutions to the problems that affect the system. Their main area of concentration should be coined on the well being of the child based on the children act 1989, the adoption act and children act 2002 and 2006 act. They should also base their organisation with the United Nations convention of 1989 that has been ratified by all the countries of the world except by two, the European convention to the exercise of children’s right 1996.

All these rights are vital in realising a child’s right within a human setting, thus each child submitted to a certain nongovernmental organisation should be treated with outmost care in regard to the above mentioned acts. Its main policy should include to actively promote the rights of children and young people, to embed a culture of listening to children and valuing their contributions as citizens, they should be accountable to the children and young people whom they offer services to, they should give the young people legal representation they need, to enhance the weak voice of the child during court session to be loud and clear during court procedure, their overall aim should be that of assuming the role of protecting the child’s rights and contributing positively to their general out come in their family settings. (Archard 2003)

Reviewing and monitoring arrangements

non-governmental bodies should be able to find ways in which it will implement their strategies and policies as they go through the process of safeguarding children rights, this they can do by having a progress report that is reviewed annually this will show them the effectiveness that they have in the community level, how many children from distress families have they covered are they progressing or retrogressing how many new cases have emerged in their course of duty, they should localise its network to reach the family unit at the grass root levels. (Archard 2003)

The above example can be adopted by the legal fraternity whose main duty is that of improving the legal frame work put in place in the judicial cases that deals with children and family cases. By this the foster children will have a say when it comes to changing homes in high frequencies, when it comes to sexual abuse within the vicinity of the foster home thus providing safety and protection of such children that lack stability.

The strength and weakness in this implementation area is based on the community’s response to the problem if it embraces this problem and identify with it then the policies and legal structures set by the government will work out fine, but if the later is ignored and the government works on its own term an agreeable point shall never be realised. And foster children will face the brunt of the system instead of reaping the benefits of being sheltered and being offered a chance to relive their lives a second chance they will live to be spiteful beings who hate the system thus the proneness of cumulating into criminals and a dysfunctional society. (Horwath 2002)

Conclusion

All in all, all children matter, at the end of the day they are all children and are protected under the convention act that tends to define their rights. Thus the world should appreciate that the children are members of a society, community and the government has the responsibility to safe guard these rights. Legal bodies should come upfront to make legal policies that will make children’s voices be louder and more pronounced. Juvenile courts should have competent lawyers that should be able to represent the children more effectively other non-governmental bodies too should find ways of improving and voicing the cries of the children.

Bibliography

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