Training Manual on Human Rights Monitoring

By Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights | Go to book overview

Chapter XII
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS

Key concepts
This chapter of the manual focuses on children's rights and the contribution that can be
made by a human rights field operation, and individual human rights officers, to their
respect, fulfilment, promotion and protection. Special attention is given here to children
because:
of the particular vulnerability of children;
some children's rights are different from those accorded to adults;
some children's rights may need to be respected, fulfilled or protected in different ways
from more general human rights; and
in many situations in which human rights officers may operate, such as internally
displaced persons camps, children often make up over 50% of the population.

A. Why do children have a set of
human rights specific to them?

1. The general thrust behind national and international action on behalf of children is the moral and legal recognition of their emotional, physical and psychological vulnerability, their need for special care, and recognition of the obligation to respect and ensure respect for their rights, including having their views respected. These concerns reflect the value that society places on childhood for its own sake, not as a training ground for adulthood. Simultaneously we must recognize that events in childhood will affect the individual as an adult, and consequently society as a whole. The international community has recognized the need for standards beyond those defined by the international bill of human rights to address specific classes of injustice and the status of entire groups of persons, and it has acknowledged the need for programmatic tools to address the special needs of vulnerable communities. In the case of children, the Convention on the Rights of the Child(CRC) is the main legal instrument of an increasing body of international law specific to them.

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