The human race is entitled to dignity and to fundamental rights that are equal and inalienable. The right to "dignity" implies that every person has the right to be respected and is of worth simply because he or she is human.Children are also human beings. They are also entitled to fundamental human rights, and have the right to dignity, and to be valued as human beings. This is stated categorically in the Universal Declaration. However, given our history whereby children were not viewed as individual by both state and community ,the idea of children having rights has caused some friction in some community.We investigate that friction.
This is why the convention on the Rights of the Child was drawn up – to protect and promote children’s rights and provide guidelines for monitoring as well as for redress where violations do occur.
The Bill of Children Rights as inscribed in our constitution goes as follows;
All children have the right to express their own opinions and the right to be heard in all matters that affect his / her rights and protection and welfare.All children have the right to participate in the government of the country and special attention should be given to consultations with children on their rights and situation. From the National Children’s Summit – 1992. If participation is understood as children having responsibilities and sharing in the chores at home or tasks at school, then there is general agreement from adults. But when it comes to children voicing their opinions on decisions that affect them and having their opinions taken into account, adults may disagree, saying that children are ignorant and immature.
Freedom from Discrimination
1. All children have the right to protection and guarantees of all the rights of the Charter and should not be discriminated against because of their parents or families’ colour, race, gender, language, religion, personal or political opinion, nationality, disability or for any other reason.
2. The Government of National Unity as well as Provincial and Local Governments, all political parties, communities, all extra parliamentary groups, families, parents and children, should do everything possible to ensure that children are not discriminated against due to his / her or his / her parents or family’s color, race, sex, language, religion, personal or political opinion, nationality, disability or for any other reason.
Name and Nationality
All children have the right to a name and nationality as soon as they are born.
Protection from Violence
1. All children have the right to be protected from all types of violence’s including: Physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, state, political, gang, domestic, school, township and community, street, racial, self-destructive and all other forms of violence.
2. All children have the right to freedom from corporal punishment at school, from the police and in prison, and at home.
3. All children have the right to be protected from neglect and abandonment.
4. All children have the right to be protected from township and political violence and to have “safeplaces” and to have community centers where they can go for help and safety from violence.
5. All children have the right to be educated about child abuse and the right to form youth groups to protect them from abuse.
6. All persons have the duty to report all violence against, abuse of and neglect of any child to the appropriate authorities.
7. Children should not be used as shields or tools by the perpetrators of violence.
1. All children have the right to free and equal, non-racial, non-sexist and compulsory education within one department as education is a right not a privilege.
2. All children have a right to education, which is in the interest of the child and to develop their talents through education, both formal and informal.
3. All teachers should be qualified and should treat children with patience, respect and dignity. All teachers should be evaluated and monitored to ensure that they are protecting the rights of the child.
4. Parents have the duty to become involved in their children’s education and development and to participate in their children’s education at school and at home.
5. All children have the right o play and to free and adequate sports and recreational facilities so that children can be children.
6. All children have the right to participate in the evaluation and upgrading of curriculum, which respect all the traditions, culture and values of children in South Africa.