Why Child’s rights law?

The children are the future. They are the assurance of the continuity of the human society. Without children today there will be no society of humans tomorrow. Yet they are the most vulnerable members of the society. By their nature they deserve protection. As children they lack the physical, mental and emotional maturity required to face life. They, therefore, require special safeguards, care and protection. The children are unique by their nature and needs, and as such the normal rights guaranteed adults are observably not adequate to accommodate the special needs of children hence the child’s rights law.

The children are the future leaders, and the kind of leaders we would have in future would depend of the kind of children we have today. Abused, maltreated and neglected children become stunted emotionally and physically, and lack the confidence to face life. They are, therefore, deprived of the opportunity to develop their full potentials.

The child’s rights law makes for the provision of the right, conducive and enabling environment that would foster and produce well-rounded, happy and self-confident children. It sure would benefit the society to have such children as the future leaders.

What are those rights protected under the Child’s Rights Act?

The Child’s Rights Act, first and foremost, has adopted all the fundamental human rights set out in the 1999 constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria and subsequent constitutions or amendments thereto as rights also guaranteed the children. This means, therefore, that the Act protects the fundamental human rights of the children. In addition, the Act also has specific rights specially provided and protected for the children. These rights include:

• Right to a name

• Right to survival and protection

• Right to dignity

• Right to  parental care, protection and maintenance

• Right to free, compulsory and universal primary education

• Right to freedom from discrimination

• Right to private and family

• Right to freedom of movement

• Right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly

• Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

• Right to leisure, recreation and cultural activities

• Right to health and health services

• Right of a child in need to special care and protection.

• Right of the unborn child to protection against harmful social and cultural practices

• Right not be imprisoned with the mother.

• Right to have his best interest considered paramount in any matter involving him.

• Right to protection against abuse and torture.