Saturday, December 29, 2007

Legitimised Deprivation

As a point of reference let us begin with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, exactly thirty years after the 1959 Declaration. To strengthen it further, on September 2nd, 1990 it entered into force as international law. Four of the Convention’s 41 substantive articles have been given special emphasis because they are basic to the implementation of all rights contained in it. Known as the Convention’s ‘general principles’, these are:
Article 2 - All rights guaranteed by the Convention must be available to all children without discrimination of any kind

Article 3 - The best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in all actions concerning children

Article 6 - Every child has the right to life, survival and development

Article 12 - The child’s view must be considered and taken into account in all matters affecting him or her.

It may be noted that the Survival rights recognise the child’s right to life and the needs basic to the child’s existence. These include nutrition, shelter, an adequate standard of living and access to healthcare. Development rights outline what children require to reach their full potential, for example, education, play, leisure, cultural activities, access to information, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Protection rights require that children be protected from all forms of abuse, neglect and exploitation. Participation rights recognise that children should be enabled to play an active role in decisions affecting their own lives, in their communities and societies in preparation for responsible adulthood. The basic principles of the rights of the child is that society has an obligation to satisfy the fundamental needs of children and to provide assistance for the development of children’s personalities, talents and abilities.Articles 1-41 of the Convention set out the rights of children and the corresponding obligations of governments to safeguard and vindicate these rights. Assuming that the UN convention is a reflection of world civilisation via its leadership and representatives, what when different local leaderships, local Governments themselves violate it and deprive children of their fundamental rights.

Now let me come to the point and begin with an existence,a new born, taking his or her first breath on this plannet, being most innocent as we all know, purer than pure, free from all the worldly conceptualisations and prejudices. As soon as this creature takes independent breath on this earth, becomes an independent citizen of world civilisation besides its local identification based on geopolitical classifications.

It is for this innocent creature, is it justified for the governments to punish this innocent being by depriving from many of his/her fundamental rights, pointed above and legitimise their actions on the grounds of social justice and their civil and constitutional laws, solely because this creature of nature has taken birth within a particular geopolitical boundary it is belonging to?

Are't we doing sheer injustice to innocents in the name of social justice?

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