Saturday, June 12, 2010

Children And Human Rights

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)-Children are among the most vulnerable groups on the earth especially in the African continent. They are also frequently the defenceless victims in the most degrading cases of abuse.
According to authentic figures, about 130 million children lack access to education worldwide, and over a 100 million are held in conditions amounting to slavery, back breaking labour, prostitution and begging.

Indeed, it is heart rendering to see children as young as 8 years engaged in child labour even here in the Gambia by assisting an elderly handicapped. They do so either begging or pushing whell chairs of cripples day in day out. Many of them can quite often be seen in towns in my country (The Gambia) like the capital city Banjul, Serrekunda, Brikama, Bakau, Farafenni, Soma, Bansang, Basse doing these jobs instead of going to school.

Not only are childrens' right to education being grossly violated in this way but they are being forced into labour.

It is not a strange sight to see children carrying stuff, ice cold water, juices, plates of fruits of different of variety for sale in Gambian markets, car parks, and around hotels. Such work goes on when the little kids should have been in school in pursuit of their fundamental right to education.
However, the small girls dominate the street selling in The Gambia, in which many cases of rape, sexual harassment, and even bulling by the elderly has been the major cases been reported in our police stations.

Here again, a child's right is violated. But who is there to speak in defence of the poor kids? In most cases the parents are the violators of these basic rights, begging the question could the state then be held responsible?
These are the sort of questions answers are needed for if the rights of this helpless group of human beings being continuously trampled on are to be guaranteed.
The convention, which constitute the most complete international statement of children's right so far, was unanimously adopted by the United Nation General Assebly on 20th November, 1969.

The Gambia became a party to the convention by ratification on the 17 December 1009.
One major area that the convention guranteed in article 28 and 29, was the right to education.
However, even through our Constitution gurantees the right to education, one finds that this right, which is important and fundamental not only in terms of satisfying the right to knowledge and information but also the attainment of which has important implications for the enhancement of the productive capacity of the people, the child's development and protection as well as the over all national socio-economic development, is still not even available to everyone.

However, in international terms, the World Convention on Human Rights, urges all states, with the support of the international community, to address the acute problem of children under especially difficult circumstance . At worldwide level, the exploitation and abuse of children should be actively combated, including by addressing their root causes. Effective measures are required against female infanticide, harmful child labour, sale of children and their organs, child ponorgraphy, child prostitution, as well as other forms of sexual abuse wherever in the world, it hard fact that such abuses still exist in today's world.

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