Child Rights Awareness

Shirley Bobby

What are some of your rights?
How would you respond if these were violated?

This week our team of education specialists held a workshop to define child rights and discuss its implementation in schools. We frequently step into classrooms to ensure that teaching methods are effective and learning outcomes can be applied in any environment. Our discussion therefore centered around what we as educators can do to ensure that the rights of children are both understood and protected.

Guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the workshop allowed our education specialists to break down the 54 comprehensive articles of protection that children are entitled to and subsequently discuss its implementation in India – a country with a unique and often complicated education landscape.

In many instances (more than we can stomach) we witness child rights being violated. In the education space, sensitizing school leaders and teachers to child rights – and specifically the steps to take when they are violated – is an important component of being an educator.

We periodically work with educators to identify child rights violations that we commonly come across – corporal punishment, young students engaged in employment, community-based discrimination and sexual offenses committed against children (both touching and non-touching abuses).

In cases where such incidents arise in schools, it is important for educators to lay out a framework to report and reverse such violations, and make this accessible to both teachers and students.

In our back-and-forth discussion, the workshop served as a brainstorming platform where we established the importance of establishing an easy-to-access system for all children, parents and educators to discuss prevalent child rights violations and collectively come up with ways to prevent its occurrences.

As with any effort toward correcting rights-abuses, raising awareness is the first step.

Child Rights Resources
Get familiar with national and international laws in place to safeguard the rights of children:

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child summary

The Government of India Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO)

NCPCR Guidelines for Eliminating Corporal Punishment in Schools

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