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Jamaican Children Have Rights Too

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Submitted By nadinenyree
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“Jamaican Children Have Rights Too”
The future of any nation is dependent on the nurturing, education, health care, guidance and proper treatment of its children and as Whitney Houston aptly puts it in her very popular song The Greatest Love of All, “I believe that children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier …” These words speaks about children and how we should treat them, but in our Jamaican society, who do we classify as children. According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary a child is a “young human being below the age of full physical development”, which in Jamaica is 18 years of age and who, incidentally, is protected by the rights contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child – adopted by the United Nations – basically protects the “best interests” of each child, recognizing the child as an individual with changing needs as he or she matures and therefore seeks to balance the rights of the child with the rights and duties of their parents. To simplify the rights, they are categorized into four different areas, namely: Survival Rights, Development Rights, Protection Rights and Participation Rights.

Here in our beautiful island of Jamaica, children are abandoned daily. Some are abused, whether physically, emotionally, mentally or sexually and worst yet, some are killed. Every Child in Jamaica has the right to survive. Parents should recognize that their child have the right to proper food, clothing and shelter as well as the right to be effectively cared for, loved and nurtured. Too many times, Jamaican children are left to survive on their own, as their so called parents neglect their responsibilities. These responsibilities include the child’s right to development. Each...

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