Drawing by Anwar Ghoubari

Why are so many children still deprived of their basic rights?

Childhood is a period in a person’s life that should be combined with innocence, love, truth, tranquility. All these things are to be found ‘naturally’ inside the child. Children have the ability to learn many things, which will affect their future behaviour and their whole life. If their parents take care of them and offer them the best they can, they will become strong and confident people in the future.

Childhood is peace, because a child does not know the meaning of hate. For example, parents might get angry with something their children has done, but some moments later you can see them hugging and playing with them. One could say that parents are in a position of power when it comes to their children. Children will learn many things while growing up in society, so their family must provide a healthy and safe environment.

There are many children’s rights, and in my opinion the most important ones are:

Protection from violence: Violence is a global problem that has negative results. If a child experiences violence while growing up, it could lead to physical and mental health problems, like depression, obesity, alcohol or drug abuse or self-harm. In my opinion, laws are important and must be strict in order to protect children.

The right to rest and leisure: Playing is very important for children, because it helps them improve their physical and mental health. By interacting with other children, they gain the ability to deal with new situations and solve problems. Children should have access to many different activities, so that they can improve their skills.

Access to education and prevetion of child labour: The importance of education is beyond debate and has become a principle in international agreements. Education in early stages plays an important role in strengthening cognitive skills. The right of the child to education essential.

Parents choose their children’s school according to their financial status. Also, the law should obligate parents to allow their children to complete their education, which ends when they graduate high school. Among the obstacles children face in their effort to implement their right to education, are of security and money.

Keep in mind that there are countries where war is the reason for ceasing many public services (Syria, Afghanistan and other countries). A lot of children leave their country in search of a better future. They want to complete their education, but at the same time they face some additional problems: The organizations that help them, do not offer enough educational opportunities suited to their special educational needs, or do not offer sufficient financial support. This fact is frocing them to drop out of school again and search for work in order to make ends meet.

Children also have the right to live with their families and this is one of the most important rights unaccompanied minors are lacking. There is no one to stand by them and be responsible for their needs and this makes them afraid, stressed and worried.

A vivid example of children deprived of this right to be with their family, is children who cannot meet their parents in neighbouring European countries. These procedures according to the Dublin III Regulation of the European Union and sometimes applications for family reunification are rejected. If their family members officially consent to take care and protect these children, the question is: Why does the Asylum Service reject some applications of minors, although they have the right to live with their families?

This is the question that has been on my mind while writing this article…

Anwar Ghoubari