Type: Exploratory
Pages: 13 | Words: 3803
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The UK society has not been sensitizing the children on the need to associate human rights with their own situations, as well as those of the young people they know. Society has little regard for the specific rights that touch on the welfare of the children. This is despite the individuals’ appreciation of the fact that most of human rights do also apply to the welfare of the children (Lansdown 2009, 117). Neglecting the specific rights of children denies them a proper education environment, freedom from unnecessary responsibility, as well as the opportunity to play as they grow up and develop. Most children are also denied their freedom of speech; access to healthcare, food and shelter, as well as their protection from bullying. This is because most parents are forced to work long hours, a situation which demands that parents engage third party caregivers. The third party caregivers are not always as caring as parents, and this leaves the children in danger of neglect (Lansdown 2009, 117).

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Children in the United Kingdom are also denied their rights to participate. According to a 2010 study by the TNS Qual+, only a few children feel that they are involved in the procedures of making decisions. This includes those decisions that affect them directly such as the options that the UK education system avails. According to the study by the TNS Qual+, many children do express the desire to be involved in various decisions since the rest of the society keeps on demanding that they achieve and attain the best in education, as well as the rest of their engagements (Rubin 2009). Studies have uncovered many instances where children are never consulted and, as such, their views and feelings are completely neglected. For instance, in the UK, just like in several other nations in Europe, family fractures, divorce, and separations are common. In most of instances, when such adversities take place, it is the children who suffer the most. They undergo the strain even if their opinions were not sought or respected before the parents could make such decisions (Rubin 2009).

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, there are four basic categories of children rights. These categories were defined in 1989 following the appreciation of the need to safeguard the future of humanity. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international rights treaty that has been adopted by 191 countries. The UK is a signatory to the treaty, and this means that the state is obliged to protect the rights of the children as per the internationally agreed standards. The Charter of Child Rights has been based on the principle which states that every child is born with certain fundamental freedoms that are inherent in the life of every individual (Rubin 2009).

The Charter bestows four basic rights to children, irrespective of their origin. The rights include that of survival, development, protection, and participation. The right to survive necessitates the provision of quality health services and nutrition so as to enhance the quality of life. Every child ought to belong to a family and, by extension, a nation. The family assures the child of an appropriate name that enhances a sense of belonging while the state facilitates the peaceful coexistence between communities that would otherwise have challenges in identifying with one another (Brownlie & Anderson 2009, 485). Names eliminate the hindrances that the government would experience as it registers these children as citizens. Registration is important as it serves as the basis upon which state nutritional schemes are founded. Having an effective management of nutritional schemes is an important step towards curtailing instances of child mortality and malnourishment. Although the UK society has made remarkable steps towards the assurance of the right to survive, there is room for improvement. In fact, children from poor families, as well as those from minority groups are yet to achieve the level of lifestyle that the privileged ones enjoy (Brownlie & Anderson 2009, 485).

The right to development assures children of quality education, recreation, leisure, and care. The right to development was formulated so as to ensure that every child is able to explore and utilize his/her full potential. Quality education has become a central pillar in the right to development as it promotes tolerance, beneficial friendship, and understanding among individuals and societies alike. Indeed, education has been one of the aspects that have facilitated inter-religious and racial interactions. In that case, it is a major contributor to the maintenance of peace and security. However, not every child in the UK is assured of quality and adequate education. There are many factors that deny a significant number of children their right to education. These factors include poverty, belonging to a minority group, being a child of a single and uneducated parent, as well as drug and substance abuse. These factors erode their confidence to participate, as well as to attempt various challenges that come along their way (Mason 2008).

Rubin (2009) argues that the right to protection saves the children from abuse, exploitation, and neglect. This right entails the necessity to have them protected from harm, as well as nurtured in a manner that eliminates the need to work. Child labor increases the likelihood that the child will face some forms of mental or physical abuse, a possibility whose impact can only be mitigated by living in a secure and caring family environment. As it has been explained above, the enforcement of some of these rights is challenging, especially, when parents and other caregivers happen to be underprivileged. The right to participation assure the children of their freedom of expression, religion, thought, and information. This, therefore, emphasizes on the need to consider the children’s views and contributions while making contributions that touches on their lives. Although every child should be accorded the space and opportunity to express and develop independent thoughts, it is obvious for caregivers to guide them in an appropriate manner (Rubin 2009, 492-494).

According to Jenks (2011), effective guidance requires caregivers to have a certain level of understanding on the issue at hand so as not to misinform the young ones. This is, however, not possible if parents happen to have been underprivileged in their childhood. For instance, former street children, underprivileged girl children, children bonded in dehumanizing labor, and children whose parents happen to be commercial sex workers cannot avail proper parenting. Others who would not be the best of parents include those who happen to have been mentally and physically challenged during their childhood, as well as those who grew up at juvenile institutions. In that case, effective upbringing of the children requires every citizen to contribute in their upbringing so as to bridge the perception gap between the children from well to families and those who happen to be underprivileged (Jenks 2011, 43).

During the study by the 2010 study by the TNS Qual+, a clear distinction between the children who are regarded to be at risk and those who happen to be living in an environment of care and protection was made. Among the vulnerable children are those who face abuse at home, those who happen to be bullied by their peers, the children of the very poor in the society, and the homeless. Others are the children in various unaffectionate institutions, those who happen to have special needs, as well as the children from the minority groups (Rubin 2009). Due to the significant number of the vulnerable children in the society, there has always been the need to improve child protection in an endeavour to mitigate the dangers that they face. In addition to the physical and emotional pain that causes the denial of children rights, it does also destroy their future, as well as the confidence to attempt various life challenges (Dohnt & Tiggemann 2006).

According to O’Neill and Zinga (2008), most children and youth in the UK consider the responsibility of facilitating children rights as being the role of their teachers and parents. Children believe that teachers and parents would ensure their protection from harm in a manner that guarantees the safety for the entire age-group. In fact, listening to the children in a careful manner is encouraged as it is the only way that the caregivers can identify and avert threats to the rights of children. In the contemporary society, technology has been identified as a useful tool for engaging individuals of all ages. Effective utilization of technology would, therefore, help in engaging children as well as sensitizing them on the best way to avert the dangers that result from the abuse of rights. Although the internet has enabled the children and adults to interact and perceive each others’ world in an enhanced manner, it has not been utilized optimally. This means that the UK society is yet to effectively protect the rights of the vulnerable children (O’Neill & Zinga 2008, 23).

The protection of the rights of children involves the enhancement of the trust that the members or the society have in them, as well as involvement in critical decision making processes. The 2005 study by Russell and Tyle (2005) indicated that children wish that their rights as young-ones were respected, especially when the level of vulnerability is significantly high. Moreover, they find the enhanced communication with regard to human rights as being beneficial in their quest for support from their caregivers. In an endeavor to facilitate the rights of children in school, it has become necessary to have teachers trained on how to handle complaints from the children. In this regard, teachers can only address the issues that could be disorienting the children by mastering the unveiling of infringements. In the UK, one of the common infringements of the children’s rights is when particular bullying reports are overlooked, a situation which persists due to the lack of expertise in dealing with such issues (Russell & Tyle, 2005).

In view of the above discourse, there is an urgent need to refine the manner in which opinions relating to the welfare of the children are handled. This can be possible with a positive investment in the children’s future routine engagements, as well as recreation, a scenario that necessitates the enforcement and enhancement of the existing laws and regulations. Pardeck (2006) argues that the issue of the enforcement of the laws and regulations calls for the involvement of the state in voicing and implementing the necessary reform agendas whether at the national, regional, and local level. The current situation in the UK does indicate that the state has failed in, among other things, facilitating forums where children can voice their opinions and concerns. The government ought to consider, for instance, lowering the voting age so as to empower the children by ensuring that their opinions count (Pardeck 2006, 4).

According to Rodham (2009), involving children in opinionated debates promotes their attitudes, a situation which facilitates their full integration into the mainstream society and culture. In addition to involvement in these debates, it is important for the society to respect the children’s freedom of being children. This means that the adult world has to assume the responsibility of financing sporting grounds. The areas ought to be open, as well as safe and secure for the children, irrespective of their vulnerability to harm or abuse. It is the responsibility of the society, and especially the teachers and parents to ensure that the children who live in a community or neighborhood are protected from harm. Parents, teachers, and other caregivers ought to appreciate the fact that pressurizing the children to perform outstandingly at school could take away their deserved free time. That would, therefore, amount to abuse and denial of their fundamental rights as children (Rodham 2009).

Children’s minds do not have the capacity to handle overbearing levels of strains like the adult members of the society would. It is for this reason that they ought to be assured of their rights to express themselves openly. They need to feel secure that their resolutions to voice concerns are legitimate and undeniable. As it has been stated earlier, such an assurance could be actualized by using various school platforms to sensitize the children of their rights, as well as on the need to seek assistance whenever they perceive wrongfulness. This has not always been the case in the UK, a scenario which has prompted various campaigners to engage in agitating for the rights of the vulnerable children in the society (Mason 2008).

For many years, various rights movements have sought to assure the children that they will not be forced to suppress their rights in an unfair submission to the older generations in their society. Activities of rights movements have prompted politicians, as well as several other organizations, to include the principle of minority rights among the pillars of their ideologies. This inclusion has been raising hope that the efforts towards the preservation of the rights of the young ones will eventually succeed. In the UK society, children have often been victimized during instances of strife and excesses. For instance, the current UK society does promote the idea of materialism.

When misinformation is perpetuated to the children, they learn to associate happiness and success with tangible possessions. Naturally, children wish to have special items, especially when they realize that their friends have similar ones. In this regard, the idea of earning your possessions and avoiding excesses has been lost, a situation which proves detrimental if continued later in one’s life. It is for this reason that the average adult person in the UK happens to be £ 9,500 in debt. The passage of this altitude to the children detriment their future and it becomes difficult for them to manage resources especially when economic downturns ensure (Brownlie & Anderson 2009, 485). Due to the interconnectedness of various economies in the world, economic difficulties being experienced in, say, the US, Spain, Greece, and Italy have adverse effects in the situation in Britain. Improper preparation of the children, therefore, exacerbates the challenges that results from economic and other difficulties. Just like education, appropriate preparation of children reduces the misappropriation of the resources at their disposal.

In view of the above, having a humble background denies the children much of their rights, a scenario which is prompted by the limited options that are available to their parents. Belonging to any of the minority groups has proved to be another source of challenge, which the children endure. Children happen to bore the blunt in situations where minorities are discriminated systematically. A study conducted by Kaslow (1990) indicated that these children may lack adequate housing, clothing, food, and other social amenities. Although such difficulties are known to have been persistent, there has not been an internationally agreeable and precise definition that constitutes a minority group. Almost every state has individuals who view themselves as being minorities by virtue of their ethnic, national, religious, and linguistic identities. This is the case when such identities happen to be distinctively different from those of the dominant group. In the UK society, most of the minority groups are ethnically foreign. This situation aggravates the challenges that they face since a significant number of the natives regard themselves as being superior to the non-natives (Kaslow 1990, 160-162).

While observers appreciate the need to avail equal opportunities to the children, not all children enjoy the rights and opportunities that those from the affluent families do. In this case, an adequate living standard is yet to be achieved, and this threatens the society’s future. Children’s lives ought to mature in a gradual manner as they gain and learn from new experiences. However, the real childhood that the UK children go through is quite different from the expectation. Many have been exploited and abused in one way or the other. For instance, according to a 2009 study by Brownlie and Anderson, most children reported that they suffered from homelessness and hunger. In some extreme circumstances, there are those who have been forced into a child labour, a situation which diminishes the opportunities to acquire basic education. Some of the children do not live long enough to tell the story as deficiency in the medical attention results into increased infant mortality (Cutting 1999).

Childhood can be preserved and, as such, necessary efforts need to be employed so as to enable them to survive and develop in a healthy manner. Nevertheless, this has not always been the case. A number of children are abandoned or neglected in the UK, a situation which makes their lives deplorable. This is especially the case in scenarios where their parents happen to have come from foreign nations. Although those with legalized status of residence have been promised, say, adequate medical services, have been witnessed in one form or the other some levels of disparities (Cutting 1999, 12-14). An increasing number of children are living in conditions that deprive them of their civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights as spelt out in the UN Convention on the Rights of Children. Typically, not every child in the UK enjoys some of the rights that were meant to safeguard their survival, growth and development, as well as their protection from abuse, exploitation, and discrimination. An increasing number of them do not enjoy family life, a situation which results into a strained development, both socially and culturally (Thorne 2007, 85-87).

According to Dohnt and Tiggemann (2006), the challenges that some of the children in the UK face begin at birth. There are instances where births go unregistered, and thus they grow up unaccounted for. This is, of course, a violation of Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of Children, and the violation prompts several other challenges that make life really difficult for these children. The lack of official identity makes most of these children have difficulty in accessing vital services, as well as opportunities that are available for a child growing up in a well to do family. At times, these children are exploited as they endeavor to make ends meet. Much of the exploitation is through forced labor, although there are instances when some of them have claimed to have been sexually exploited. The two forms of exploitation are clear violations of the rights of children as the law requires such children to be protected and, of course, be sent to school (Thorne 2007, 85-87).

Many of the neglected children in the UK lack clean and safe drinking water. As such, the children suffer frequently from such communicable diseases as typhoid. Their problems are, consequently, aggravated by the lack of opportunity to access proper medical attention. Some reports to be living in inadequately lighted environments. Inadequate lighting increases the chances of these children spending the night in filthy places where they could acquire fungal infections (Jenks 2011, 43). Other challenges that are posed by darkness include insecurity, and this increases vulnerability of young girls being raped or assaulted. Additionally, neglected children have been risking their lives as they engage in criminality after nightfall. Several of these young criminals have been killed by enraged property owners, as well as other criminal gangs who seek to share the loot. Life in the street has proved to be challenging for those children that are left to fend for themselves. In this regard, it is necessary for the relevant authorities to join hands and alleviate this problem once and for all since the UK is well able to achieve that (Thorne 2007, 85-87).

Arts and Popovoski (2010), perceive hope for a bright future as the government has embarked on the process of sensitizing the children and their caregivers on the need to, for instance, attend school. Education is the corner stone to the development of the contemporary society and, as such, no child should miss the opportunity to attend school. Additionally, much is being done to avert the challenges that those children who come from the disadvantaged homes suffer. This is meant to bring them into par with their colleagues from the privileged families. Notable progress has been made to this end as the government has been instituting strategies that are aimed at improving the general welfare of the citizenry, the neglected children being included (Arts & Popovoski 2010, 40-46).

The government has made progress towards the improvement of lifestyle. This is hoped to improve the lives of the majority of the UK children who are currently facing challenges due to the infringement of their rights. The government has also made progress towards the reformation of the health sector, and the National Health Service has been mandated to find ways of benefiting every resident and child in the UK. However, the quality of health care being availed to children, especially those that have been neglected, is still below the recommended standards. Moreover, many of these children suffer from various degrees of malnutrition. They, therefore, continue to experience health challenges and poor housing even after the government has initiated several ambitious programs that are meant to alleviate the problem (Brennan & Noggle 1997, 23).

Although residing at an institution proves to be better than living on the streets, institutionalized life is not the best for the child. Growth and development of children between the ages of twelve to eighteen years is anticipated to include predictable mental and physical milestones. This possibly becomes the make or break point or stage of a child’s personal life and thus due care, intelligence, and understanding must be employed to help teens deal with those challenges, which bring about this development. A lot is learnt at this stage. Specific and extremely beneficial abilities are also acquired here. All adolescents have to face the physical maturation cycle that brings puberty earlier to girls than to boys. If not well prepared to cope with this development, adverse implications may reflect on these young people. They will, therefore, need information about the expected developments and the significance of the changes that take place in their lives (Cutting 1999, 12-14).

The challenges that the neglected children in the UK face have been aggravated by the recent global economic meltdown. The UK, being so intertwined with the United States, has suffered greatly as a significant number of the American companies go bankrupt. This development, coupled with the challenges that the major European economies are facing, has prompted untold suffering to a significant number of neglected children (Cutting 1999, 12-14). Moreover, with the world still suffering from an economic meltdown, remittances from parents who live in other locations in the world have drastically reduced, and this reduction is expected to remain until the crisis is over. Nevertheless, various stakeholders appreciate the need to alleviate the challenges that these children face so as to safe nation from future social challenges. Remarkable progress is being made, and it is hoped that every child in the UK will live a desirable live in the near future (Cutting 1999, 12-14).

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