DEFINITION OF TERMS
Human Rights refers to any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled to and in whose exercise a government may not interfere
Child Abuse refers to any form of physical, sexual, psychological and metal injury to a child
Child Neglect means deprivation of the rights of the child – failure of caretakers to provide adequate emotional and physical care for a child
Child labor refers to any situation where a child provides labor in exchange for payment, Need: A need is something you cannot do without.
Ratification refers to making something valid by formally confirming it.
TYPES OF HUMAN NEEDS
UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (UNCRC)
UNCRC was developed in 1989. In 1990, Kenya Government ratified the Convection of the Right of the Child being the 20th Country.
Reporting procedures of UNCRC
Each country after signing and ratifying the UN Convection is under an obligation to report to UNCRC committee, which is charged with monitoring compliance with, and implementation of UNCRC.
A country is supposed to give a report 2 years after signing and every 5 years thereafter.
The report should be a representative of all stakeholders. In case of conflicting views from civil society a supplementary report should be forwarded to the committee while resolving the conflict.
Kenya was late in sending the report in 1992, having ratified the convection in 1990. No report was forwarded after 5 years i.e. 1997 as required by UNCRC committee. Kenya sent a combined report in 1998 that is after 7 years.
A lot has been done in Kenya towards domesticating UNCRC resulting to children’s Act 2002 that translates UNCRC into a legislature item in Kenya.
THE CHILDREN’S ACT 2001
The date of assent: 31st December 2001 Date of commencement: 1st March, 2002
The enactment of Children’s Act of 2001 gives effect to the obligations of Kenya under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Children (ACRWC).
It is an Act of Parliament to make provision for parental responsibility, fostering, adoption, custody, maintenance, guardianship, care and protection of children, to make provision for the administration of children’s institutions Provides for the rights of the child and seeks to enhance the welfare of the child Merges the provision of other laws that affect children: adoption Act; Guardianship of the Infants, Children and Young Persons
Rights: right is what a human being deserves or entitlement is by law or heritage. They are those things that are important for the well-being of every human being. A right is not something that someone gives you; it is something that no body can take away. They are God given.
THE FOUR BROAD CATEGORIES OF CHILDREN’S RIGHT
The concept of UNCRC was set up in 1989 as a standard agreement that set basic standards for children’s well being. The convention contains 54 articles articulated in 4 broad categories. These include:
1. THE RIGHT TO LIFE AND SURVIVAL
There are four sub-categories of the Right to Life and Survival. They are:
- Right to medical care
- This involves treatment when children are sick
- Getting immunized against diseases like measles, T.B. tetanus, whooping cough, Diphtheria and Polio
- The right to nutrition: A well balanced meal contains
- Proteins e.g. meat, beans, eggs, fish, milk
- Carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, cassava, maize meal etc.
- Vitamins obtained from fruits, green vegetables etc
- Fats and oils
- The right to Shelter
- A house should be well ventilated
- A house should be, spacious enough
- The family should feel secure in the house they are living in
- Right to clothing
Clothes should be:
- Not too tight
2. THE RIGHT DEVELOPMENT
Children have the right to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
There are five sub-categories in this area:
- Right to education: Education provides knowledge and prepares one in the field of work and to be able to interact effectively with others
- Right to play and leisure: They need to be allowed to play and have fun and to have time for relaxation. This would enhance the physical aspect that would enhance education and life in general.
- Right to parental care
- Right to access to information
- Right to social security
3.THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION
It children’s right to be protected against:
- Exploitation e.g. child labor
- Drug Abuse (e.g. tobacco, bang, khat)
- Discrimination on the basis of color, status, disability, religion, tradition
- Disaster: Examples of Natural Disasters: floods, drought, earthquake, Man made g. war, fire, bomb-blast
- Abuse and neglect e.g. Physical abuse e.g. canning, smacking, FGM
- Emotional abuse e.g. name calling, and abandonment
- Loss of identity: all children should have a name
- Refugees – they need refugee status
- Sexual abuse – e.g. rape, incest, sexual harassment, sodomy, early marriage, and child prostitution
4. THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATION
The Right to participation sub-categories entails that children are entitled to:
- Free association: for example freedom to form ROC club
- Thought and opinion: freedom to think and present their opinions like activities they want to engage in ROC club to the school
- Contribution: g. songs, poems, during school functions at the community level etc.