Human rights are meant to protect vulnerable groups of people.
Children are one such group. Children are fully and completely
reliant on how they are treated by adults. The UN's Convention
on the Rights of the Child was therefore adopted in 1989.
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child all
people under the age of 18 years old are children. The convention
is based on four main principles:
1. All children have the right to grow up.
2. All children have the right to develop.
3. All children have the right to care and protection.
4. All children have the right to participate in matters that
Every country in the UN, except Somalia and the USA, has
ratified the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Most children in Norway enjoy a family that loves them, but
children can also be subjected to injustices in this country
as well. They can be neglected and assaulted by family members
or friends, or in an institution if they live in one. Some
children come to Norway as refugees and do not get the rights
to which they are entitled.
The situation of children in many poor countries can be very
difficult. Many children have to work hard every day and do
not have the chance to go to school. In the carpet industry
in Pakistan, for example, there are many child workers who
work long days and in poor conditions. Children's small fingers
can weave nicer patterns than big adult hands, and children
also complain less than adults. Many cynical manufacturers
therefore exploit child labour to make bigger profits. There
are many similar examples throughout the world.
No one is allowed to hit you! - You have the right to express
your opinion and to be heard!
If children are being abused, the authorities have a responsibility
to act. The Convention on the Rights of the Child says that
states must "protect the child from all forms of physical
or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent
treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual
abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or
any other person who has the care of the child." Another
important provision says that "state parties shall assure
to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views
the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting
the child, the views of the child being given due weight in
accordance with the age and maturity of the child." Parents,
teachers and other people cannot deny children this right.
If you know of a child who is being subjected to abuse, you
must inform an adult.