Thursday 16 August 2012



A child is any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier." According to Cornell University, a child is a person, not a subperson, and the parent has absolute interest and possession of the child, but this is very much an American view.
A child is a person and not a subperson over whom the parent has an absolute possessory interest. The term "child" does not necessarily mean minor but can include adult children as well as adult nondependent children. Children are generally afforded the basic rights embodied by the Constitution.


Children's Rights law exists to safeguard children, their wellbeing and their individual rights. These federal and state policies and laws were spearheaded by the children’s rights movement which promotes legal defenses and protections for children by addressing their social welfare; health, education and special needs; child trafficking; child labor and exploitation and how the juvenile justice system deals with minors.


The Child Bill of Rights

It is believed that a successful society invests its best resources and hopes in the success of its children. An unsuccessful society ignores or maltreats its children.
Children are the future of our species. How a society treats its children is a direct reflection of how that society looks at its future. The Children's Bill of Rights proposes rights for children that all adults on Earth should honor, so that we may help create the very best future for ourselves and, in turn, our own children.
A moral and competent society is one that respects and upholds the rights of its children. A society that fails to do so is immoral and incompetent.

In a one-day workshop organized by the Cross River State Judiciary in collaboration with the Justice Research Institute LTD (GTE) Lagos, has ended in Calabar with a call on the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and other judicial bodies in the State to effectively enforce via implementation, the Child Rights Law in Cross River State. The Chief Judge noted that Cross  River State first enacted the Children and Young Persons Law in 1979 which was revised in 2004. She called for the juxtaposition of the Child Rights Law of Cross River State enacted in 2009 by the State House of Assembly with that of the “Children and Young Persons Law of 2004”.
In her words “in order to appreciate the wide ambit of Child Rights Law 2009, a juxtaposition of this law with the “Children and Young Persons Law, 2004” will clearly highlight the beauty of the present law which is multi–dimensional. This includes the harmonization of the different definitions of a “child”.   It would be noted that under 2004 Law, there is a distinction between a “child” and a “juvenile”.
As violence continued in the Niger Delta region, children's rights campaigners welcomed the passing into law of the Child Rights Act on 26 May in nearby Cross River state.
Suomi Sakai, head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria, told IRIN: “UNICEF heartily congratulates Cross River state. The state has now joined a vast international movement in support of children’s rights.” Nigeria ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 and domesticated it in 2003 as the Child Rights Act. Since then 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states have passed the act into law. The law specifies the rights and responsibilities of children and the duties and obligations of government, families and the authorities to uphold children’s rights. Nigeria’s constitution stipulates child rights come under state responsibility, so for the act to become operational, each state must first pass it into law. “UNICEF urges the remaining 13 [states] to now do the same,


Section I: Articles that are implemented immediately

1. Children's universal rights

As compared to adults, children until the age of 18 have the right to receive special care and protection.Children all have the same rights, no matter what country they were born in or are living in, what their sex is, what their race is, or what their religion is.

2. Right to inherit a better world

Children have the right to inherit a world that is at least as good as the one their parents inherited.Children have a responsibility to think about how they will leave a better world to their children, and, when they become adults, they have the right and duty to act on this.

3. Right to influence the future

Children have the right to participate in discussions having to do with the directions our society is taking -- on the large political, economic, social, and educational issues and policies -- so that children can help create the kind of world they will grow up in.
Adults have an obligation to communicate their views of these large issues in terms that children can understand, and provide children with the same information that is available to all adults. Children have the right to understand how things change within society, and to learn how to influence these changes.

4. Right to freedom of thought, opinion, expression, conscience, and religion

Every child has the right to express his or her opinion freely, and adults should address that opinion with the child in every decision that affects him or her. Children have the right to carry out research to help form these opinions.Children have the right to express their views, obtain information, and make ideas or information known. Children have the right to form their own views in matters of conscience and religion.

5. Right to media access

Children have guaranteed access to all important communications media so that they may communicate nationally and internationally amongst themselves and with adults.

6. Right to participate in decisions affecting children

Children have the right to participate in all committees and decisions that make plans and set policies that directly or indirectly affect children.

7. Right to privacy

Children have the right to privacy to the same extent adults have.

8. Right to respect and courtesy

Children should be treated with respect and courtesy by adults, as well as by other children.

9. Right to an identity

Children separated from their birth parents at birth or at an early age have the right to know that this happened. Children have the right to know their name, who their birth parents are, and when and where they were born.

10. Right to freedom of association

Children have the right to meet with others, and to join or form associations, equivalent to that held by adults.

11. Right to care and nurturing

Children have the right to have nurturing and caring parents or guardians.

12. Right to leisure and play

Children have the right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities. Children have the right to a enjoy at least a few hours every day when they are free from worries.

13. Right to safe work

Children have the right to be protected from work that threatens their health, education, or development.Children have the right to have pocket money so that they may learn to manage money.

14. Right to an adequate standard of living

Every child has the right to a standard of living adequate for his or her physical, mental, spiritual, moral, and social development, no matter how wealthy his or her parents are.

15. Right to life, physical integrity and protection from maltreatment

Children have the right to be protected from all forms of maltreatment by any adult, including a parent. This includes but is not limited to: physical abuse, including torture, violence, hitting and slapping; harmful drugs, including alcohol and tobacco; mental abuse; and sexual abuse.
Infanticide is prohibited.No child shall be forced into marriage.

16. Right to a diverse environment and creativity

Children have the right to have many different things, people, and ideas in their environment. Children have the right to listen to music of their choice.
Children have the right NOT to have their creativity stifled.

17. Right to education

Every child has the right to education, education that aims to develop his or her personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities to the fullest extent, no matter how wealthy the child's parents are. Education should foster respect for a child's parents, for the child's own cultural identity, language and values, as well as for the cultural background and values of others. Children have the right to an excellent education in any school. Schools will differ not in the quality of the education they offer, but only in their philosophies of teaching, and what professional specializations they stress.

18. Right to access appropriate information and to a balanced depiction Of reality

Adults have the obligation to provide children with information from several different sources. Children should be protected from materials adults consider harmful.
Children have the right to have reality presented to them in a balanced and accurately representative fashion.

19. Right not to be exposed to prejudice

Children have the right NOT to be taught that one group (racial, national, religious, etc.) is superior to another.

Section II: Articles that require social or national policies

20. The right to a clean environment

Children have a right to a clean environment (water, air, ground, sea).

21. Right to a small national debt

Governments and countries must decrease national debt which will have to be paid for by future generations.

Brownlie, J. and Anderson, S. (2006) "'Beyond Anti-
Smacking': Rethinking parent–child relations," Childhood. 13(4) p 479-498.
Cutting, E. (1999) "Giving Parents a Voice: A Children's
Rights Issue," Rightlines. 2 ERIC #ED428855.
Brennan, S. and Noggle, R. (1997) "The Moral Status of
Children: Children's Rights, Parent's Rights, and Family Justice," Social Theory and Practice. 23.
Kaslow, FW (1990) Children who sue parents: A new form
of family homicide? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 16(2) p 151–163.

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