Violence refers to deliberate use of corporal power or force, to threaten or actually harm, another person, oneself, or on a group of people like children or women resulting to death, injury, mal-development, or psychological distortion. Violence against children is a global issue that results to public-unhealthiness. Though injustice and poverty victims have had difficulty being understood, historically, none of them has had more difficulty if compared to the plight of children. Violence against children takes place in various forms for instance physical injuries, negligence, or psychological torture. This happen at different levels and the perpetrators include individuals, institutions, households, and the society. This essay therefore establishes the state of children rights and the major contributors to violence against children rights in the global context.
Violence against children takes place worldwide but the statistics may vary from one region to another. For instance, countries such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal tend to report more issues on children rights violation including child labor, sexual abuse, and child trafficking. India has been said to have the largest number of working children. However, these statistics could be misleading given that state administrators may give low numbers to protect images of their countries. A recent research in eight Asian nations discovered that 33 to 50% of the sex workers were the same previous victims of child abuse (Brett, 2009).
One basic human rights principle laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Children have been assigned special protection by the UN legal framework. Nevertheless, there are no strong legal mechanisms to protect this right. In addition, international law and local legislations are not homogeneous and this leads to conflict of interests. Children’s rights protection under international treaty law can be traced back to the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the League of Nations in 1924, which was a brief document containing only five principles by which member were invited to be guided in the work of child welfare.
Children enjoy protection by way of general human rights provisions, and their relevance should not be underestimated. The U.N has continued to guard the rights of children under four principles, namely; children’s right to equality, the best interest of the child, the children’s right to life and development and the respect for children’s own views (Committee on the Rights of the Child, 2005). However, these provisions only remain in papers as a number of states continue to abuse them as demonstrated by the rising cases of child trafficking, and child labor among other vices.
Children Rights Violation Children are said to be every country’s future and for that reason; the United Nations (UN) members in 2002, undertook to conform to eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the year 2015 with six of the said goals directly associated with children. All these goals that are strongly associated with the commitment made by all governments of the UN General Assembly at the 2002 Special Session on Children in 2002. All nations promised to work with the goal of promoting and protecting the rights of every child. A study conducted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child on behalf of the UN in 2001 emphasized on the rights of children to personal and physical integrity.
The study also outlined Countries responsibilities in protecting children from all kinds of mental and physical violence such as sexual, exploitation, or demeaning punishment (Detrick, 1999). It is however hard to implement these measures in developing countries due to high levels of poverty, whose remedy at times would be engaging children in forced labor to put food on table. In addition, severity of HIV/AIDS affects ability of parent to feed their children and this leave rare option for restricting child labor.
The UN member countries are obliged to pass protective measures in order to ensure that no children rights are violated and if any is, they should ensure that the victims get the assistance and support necessary for recovery. In the Pacific and the East Asia Region, numerous regional pledges have been made and continue to be implemented at different levels in order to combat children’s problems of sexual exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. Children rights violations are mostly circumstantial and are contributed by elements that may be either positive or negative. Violation of children’s rights is not a new phenomenon and recent worldwide development especially the technological advancements have greatly challenged the efforts of the UN and other stakeholders to stop this criminality.
Various global economic features and political affiliations have affected children protection and well-being. The aspect of rapid urbanization is good for many economies and livelihoods but it also contributes greatly to violation of children’s rights (UNICEF, 2001). This is because; urbanization may tend to erode social security systems of families and communities, at the same time, slacken import barriers, and improve transport and communications networks facilitating cross-national movements and thus encouraged illegal activities such as child trafficking. Some nations have violated children’s rights in the name of patriotism. Children are forced into making sacrifices in order to protect their country.
These children engage in risky national activities, for instance, in some developing countries and other politically unstable nations such as Sierra Leone, Sudan and Rwanda, children were used as spies and war soldiers during wars all in the name of patriotism (Van Bueren, 1998). Nevertheless, at times political set ups do not recruit children in their troop. State of a country may also make a child to develop interest in becoming a soldier at early age. Vice is political influence in recruiting children in military troops.
Violation of children rights has however been greatly contributed to by negative societal factors. For instance, the main targets for children violators and other abusers are the children from marginalized ethnic groups and financially unfortunate families who are subjected to many types of social segregation. This is because these children live in poor and politically unstable regions and they face numerous financial adversities. Due to their unfortunate nature, some of these children live in slums, streets and in socially segregated groups. Some ethnic minorities are illegal immigrants and thus, they lack most certifications, causing them to lack the necessary access to legal employment, education, and legal migration channels. This unfortunate lot of children’s right to safe delivery, good maternal health, proper nutrition, medical heath (Van Bueren, 1998).
Stigmatization of HIV/AIDs born children by families and the society due to ignorance and poverty by the society strongly contributes to the continuous discrimination, violence and abuse and consequently causing the children to seek alternative livelihoods and becoming vulnerable to being violated (UNICEF, 2001). In addition, most HIV/AIDs infected and affected children from developing countries have been orphaned and are thus under kinship care, mainly under the aged and weak persons. These caretakers have other problems and are thus incapable of caring and providing for these children. Having no strong person as guardian makes the children to be very susceptible to abuse and violence.
The U.N has funded and supported programs that can help to strengthen work on advocating and researching on the key causes societal issues including HIV/AIDS and at the same time, assists the infected and affected children to access to basic services such as education, healthcare, and protection against violators. In the year 2000, about 2.3 million children who are below the age of 15 from the developing world have continually become orphans because of HIV/AIDs related mortalities with one child dying every 14 seconds (UNICEF, 2001). However, there are still the biggest hurdles that surround such good initiatives. There is vast corruption especially in developing countries that make monetary allocation have little impact in rescuing the condition of children.
Political instability in some nations is also a huge contributor to violation of children’s rights. War-torn countries go through many problems that affect its citizens especially children directly in an enormous and unprecedented way. For instance, in war times, many children have been wounded, murdered or taken away from their families and communities. Due to wars, many children have been orphaned and have exploited sexually or through military recruitment.
The girl child has especially been gravely affected by war. Greed for control of landmines and production of small arms and weapons also threatens lives of children every day. This is because conflicts in many regions are caused by such economic greed, interest and the desire to have power over valuable natural resources (Brett, 2009). This kind of interest in some industries is responsible for stimulating wars that bring dreadful violations of children’s rights by causing them to suffer mal-nutrition due to low production of food. In the 1996 UN General Assembly, Machel gave a report on awareness and collection of information on the children’s plight that are affected by armed conflict.
Children have the right to health, right to nutrition and the right to education. In addition, children also deserve to be protected; they deserve to be free from brutality and mistreatment and they deserve to have a safe and caring environment. Some children have the chance to enjoy these rights while others are amongst the most susceptible groups in the society. Some progress by individual families, the society, and concerned organizations have been made in the struggle against children trafficking and sexual exploitation of children (Brett, 2009). These positives fight against violating the rights of children has been evidenced worldwide with the increase in consciousness and acknowledgment of the issues by government heads. Other key decision makers worldwide and the general public are also rallying the efforts of fighting violation of children’s rights.
Children globally have however continued to be violated through trafficking on a daily basis and the trend of these victimization and maltreatment incidents is continually increasing. Most of these violations of children’s rights have been observed in the disadvantaged countries, communities, and families. This means that more than anything else, the vices are heightened by the poverty, ignorance, political instability, diseases such as HIV/AIDs and discrimination. All these contributors are negative aspects of the society. In order for the society to solve curb children’s rights violation, they first need to deal with improving and eradicating these aspects (Detrick, 1999). Otherwise, children rights violation will continue to exist at both the local and international levels.