Understanding Children’s Right to Protection
The period of childhood is a phase in which the human being is more vulnerable because they have not finished developing physically or mentally. Furthermore, the child requires a particular attention and protection.
The superior interest of the child
Children deserve a particular attention
The principle of the superior interest of children is also tied to the necessity to protect children. This principle involves two important rules :
• All the decisions regarding children have to be taken in the exclusive interest of each child to ensure their immediate and future well being.
• All the decisions and acts must imperatively guarantee the child rights. The superior interest of children is subordonated to a protection of the child.
The superior interest of the child targets the well being of each child
The principle of the superior interest of the child has the goal of promoting and garanteeing the well being of all children,on several aspects :
• Physical well being : ensuring good health and proper development of the child.
• Mental well being : providing the child the opportunity to develop intellectually.
• Social well being : ensuring to the child the opportunity to flourish socially and spiritually.
The need to establish a protective background for children
First of all, child protection must be ensured by the parents and the community which surround them, then by the states.
Of course, the well being of each child can not be obtained in the same way. Each child is a unique human with specific needs.
Also, his/her individual charateristics (age, gender, health, disability or not, present or absent parents, background, etc) will allow identification of their needs in order to bring to fruition their well being.
Nevertheless, these individual charateristics must be lead to discriminations towards children.
The role of the state for child protection
In order to ensure the child’s well being and superior interest the states must establish a protection system for the child.
An effective system includes laws, politics, procedures and practices intended to prevent and fight against various problems of mistreatment, violence and discrimination that can damage a child’s well being.
In order to set up an effective protection system, the States must first ratify the main principal international standards of protection of children’s rights and then implement it in their legislation. They must also ensure care to certain child profiles (disabled,refugees…)and provide them satisfactory and lasting solutions.
In addition, the States must fight against the customary practices which lead and encourage discrimination and mistreatment towards children.
The role of parents and the community in childhood protection
These adults must have competencies, knowledge and motivation to provide effective protection for children. They must identify and react against possible cases of discrimination, neglect or mistreatment.
An efficient protection is essential to the children’s well-being because, as vulnerable people, they are more exposed to problems of mistreatment, exploitation, discrimination and violence.