The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) recognizes children as rights holders and provides them with individual rights. In 1989, world leaders made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement on childhood. It’s become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and has helped transform children’s lives around the world. But still not every child gets to enjoy a full childhood. Still, too many childhoods are cut short. It is up to our generation to demand that leaders from government, business and communities fulfil their commitments and take action for child rights now, once and for all. They must commit to making sure every child, has every right.
Children’s rights under the CRC are commonly divided into three categories, and protection rights are one of those, beside provision rights and participation rights. However, children’s rights are indivisible and holistic and should not be seen separately or in isolation from each other. This paper is about child protection, but children cannot be properly protected without being provided with food, housing, care, health services and education or the opportunity to participate in decision-making regarding their own lives and in society. In protecting children, the interplay between the different types of rights is important.
This paper provides the reader with a legal understanding of children’s right to protection against maltreatment in their homes and the obligations of states parties in implementing this right in practice. The rights and obligations form the framework within which to exercise professional judgment in this area, and specifying their content is a prerequisite for rights to be realized. The focus is on the obligations to prevent and respond to maltreatment as well as on the best interests of the child.