Keeping Children Safe From Harm

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Keeping Children Safe from Harm

Table of Contents


Four Central areas of Children's rights3


New Sociology of Childhood5

The state of Neglecting6

Risk factors associated with Serena7

Actions to safeguard the rights of children9

Other Professionals Involved11

Treatment of the Abused Child12


Keeping Children Safe from Harm


Children's rights encompass civil and political as well as cultural, social, and economic terrain. Activism and research in the arena of children's rights puts forward key questions about children, childhood, and the state, and how we should think about children as not just recipients but also producers of culture. Similarly, most documents addressing the rights of the child assume a certain philosophical position regarding the child; these include the assertion that the child is a full and real person, but a potentially vulnerable one whose personhood is distinct and entitled to distinct protections (Prout, 1998).

Four Central areas of Children's rights

Aid and advocacy groups address contemporary children's rights to both safety and empowerment in four main arenas.

First, children have a right to be protected from exploitation. Children as young as 6 years old compelled and coerced, through kidnapping or other forms of violence, to participate as armed combatants in military conflicts. Orphans or survivors of natural disaster are “adopted” into guerrilla training camps for indoctrination and combat training or kidnapped from displaced persons camps and fragmented post-conflict or disaster communities. Amnesty International and other human rights groups and some state governments actively oppose these practices by implementing no assistance policies against nations that use child soldiers in conflicts, and encourage other states to do so. Still others have suggested that children in the contemporary context entitled to environmental rights-that they have a right to inherit a safe, liveable natural environment and that it is the responsibility of adults to make sure that appropriate environmental action takes place to ensure the quality of this inheritance (Rosewarne, 2001).

Second, children have a right to education. This speaks to making certain girls and young women have access to free, equal, and empowering educational experiences; that elementary education be free and compulsory; and that schools be protected from becoming targets for political or military aggression. In addition, it is important that schools work to make human rights part of the curriculum. In this way, children can be informed about their basic rights and responsibilities and will see and understand the necessity for protecting the rights of others (Rosewarne, 2001).

Third, children have a right to special legal consideration. International law forbids the use of capital punishment on offenders who committed their crime when they were younger than 21 years. Finally, children have a right to safety and security, both physical and emotional. Children should be the first to receive aid and accommodation, including nutritional, emotional, and material considerations. According to Human Rights Watch, children living with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) are at risk for exploitation and death through severely limited access to healthcare, as well as other practices that contribute to their and other children's initial exposure to HIV (Rosewarne, ...
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