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Understanding Children's Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 5 May 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights Of The Child Parent Child

Every child has basic human rights. The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) applies to all children aged 18 or under, and gives children rights in social, economic, civil and cultural issues. The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE), which is a non government organisation, also monitors development in the UK.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty

Since 1992, when the Treaty came into force, children in the UK have been entitled to over 40 specific human rights.

As with all humans a child has the right to life, development and survival. They also have the basic right to have their best interests considered at all times and their rights to be respected, regardless of personal view. Freedom of expression, the right to live within a safe family environment and to have contact with both parents, where possible, is also listed. There are also health and welfare rights and the right to enjoy education, the arts, cultural and leisure activities.

Every child is also entitled to special protection from exploitation – whether that is sexual or economic. Those children in the juvenile justice system and refugee children also have special protection rights entitlement.

How Children’s Rights Affect Your Child

Your child has the right to an identity. This means having a name, nationality and the opportunity to explore their cultural heritage. It also means that no child should experience discrimination of any kind, because of their religion, beliefs, language and social origins. Rights also govern a child’s inclusion in recreational and artistic activities.

Where education is concerned every child is entitled to receive good general schooling and equal educational opportunities.

Parental Responsibilities Towards Children

A parent has parental responsibilities and obligations to provide their child with a safe home environment. This includes providing for the child financially, emotionally and physically. It also means that a child should be protected from violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.

A mother or father also has a duty to ensure their child, or children, receive the best level of care. The child’s best interests must also be considered as priority.

How The Government Helps

Children’s Rights are protected by a number of established laws, and the government is committed to ensuring these laws provide the best level of protection possible for every child. The government also aims to continue to address certain issues, for instance reducing infant and child mortality, by providing adequate medical assistance. Issuing guidelines regarding nutrition and healthcare also enables parents to acknowledge and provide the best level of care for their child.

Poverty And Economic Issues

Poverty affects a vast number of children worldwide. These children miss out on fundamental rights like good health, nutrition, education and personal security and protection. The extent of poverty however, is generally linked to economic activity and policies. Charities like Save The Children work to promote policies and programmes that highlight national and international concerns, and also work with families to increase awareness and ability to care for the children.

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I have 2 daughters with my ex and since we split he has been in and out of there lives when he chooses I have tried to contact him in the past for them to see him but its excuses all the time. I finally said enough is enough he hasn't seen them for over 8months and hasn't given them no Christmas present or birthday present nothing he has never given me money for them nothing he is on their birth certificate I am wanting to know where I stand cos I want to change there surnames to mine and I don't want to contact him cos he has been abusive in the past to myself and for him to start arguing about contact with the children because it's not fair on them. I myself am ill and don't need the hassle of him upsetting my kids who are 2 and 4. I don't have his new number or address to contact him and his family don't want any hassle either what can I do I want them to have my surname
Sj - 5-May-19 @ 7:51 PM
We have a situation where one parent has had two children taken out of her care 2 years ago due to her mental health. She is now having contact with the two children girl aged 7 and boy aged 5 she is by far mother of the year and social services have said she as long as she meets the basic standards it's ok. She is telling telling the children she can come sleep over with her and that contact is going to be 50/50 nine of which is going to happen anytime soon. She is also saying horrible things about me and my family and telling the children not to say anything. She is telling the children to keep secrets. Her partner is not aloud to be around the children due to there volatile relation (domestic abuse) just need some on how to go about her having the minimal contact with the children legally
Step parent - 4-May-19 @ 11:38 AM
hi i am going through csa with my ex partner for my children he is now saying he isnt the dad the our children csa wont to do a dna test but he is now doing it through cellmark test home kit will this be used by csa to ssay if he is or isnt the farther as i now 100percent he is the children dad
mel - 4-Apr-19 @ 2:08 PM
Good day. My boyfriend here in the Philippines is a non-resident in UK (he holds African passport) but has a daughter that was born in UK. His ex was Canadian. Both the child and his ex already moved back to Canada but they have this child support set up back in UK. My boyfriend already quit his work as a Marine Engineer and just this month, his ex is asking £3,500 child support and another £2,100 for the Christmas allowance. His ex is giving him deadlines and is threatening him on being in jail if he does not pay on time. My boyfriend does not have a job as of now, is there anything we can do to move the deadline for this money his ex is asking? Thank you.
Dollie - 18-Dec-18 @ 10:47 PM
Hi My daughter is 14. He dad and I were married for almost 20 years before we separated. At first things were fine in that we were still mananging the childrne and their needs well. I kept him informed of what was going on. However, 9 months after our separation he met someone else. It was too quick for me as I was still comming to terms with the separation. However, it affected our daughter very badly. He moved in with this lady almost a year ago and my daughter has really struggled with the situation. She has more problems with her dad than she does with his new person. She seems decent and reports from my daughter were positive. My daughter became ill and she said her dad didnt really listen to her and didnt believe her when she had issues with her menatl and physocal health. Hes been out of the picture a lot because hes been so occupied with his new relationship and her children that hes shown little interest in his own duaghter especailly. There have been no enquiries about how she is, whats gong on, is there any way in which he can help. I dont think Im without fault but Ive really had to dig deep and try and work with the hurt and the anger that Ive felt so that it doeesnt affect the children. She stayed with him for a week as things got too much for me. and now he wants me to INSIST that she goes to stay with him every other weekend. The thing is she is adamant that she doesnt want to go. He has let her down and caused constant dissapointment and she is very very angry and hurt. The problem is that she cant talk to him. She says she feels he ignores her and she says she feels invisible. The times when she has visited, she has come home very upset and it can take a whole week for her to ajust after two days with her father. What advice can you give me? I cant enforce her stayinf with her dad. I have on several occsions spoken to her and she has gone to his house only to be let down again and again. Validating her belief that shes not important to him. Can she have a say in whether or not she stays with her dad? I am a little bit concerned that he thnks I am influencung her
Bluebell - 9-Dec-18 @ 11:58 PM
Mikki - Your Question:
Hello. I'm 30 years old and have a nearly 8 year old son. His dad and I were together 5/6years. He wasn't fab when were together. We have been separated for 5 years now. He hardly sees my son. Can disappear for weeks with no contact. Before half term he was supposed to collect him from school. Forgot and I had to go collect him 40 mins late. Just last Thursday my son sat waiting for his dad an again a no show. He never gives me any money for jai. If an when he does it's a 10er here or a 5er there. My son is really starting to struggle and is showing early signs of aniexty. I don't work at the minute. Him and his partner both work full time and have a house together. All I wanted was for my son to have a relationship with his dad. But that isn't going to happen. I'm sick of picking up the pieces of his mess all the time. What direction do I need to go in? Thank you for reading

Our Response:
A court will not force a non-resident parent to have a child where the parent is unwilling. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. Mediation may be an option for you to consider, please see link here . With regards to child maintenance, you have a right to apply for this regardless of whether the other parent sees the child or not, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Jun-18 @ 10:34 AM
Hello. I'm 30 years old and have a nearly 8 year old son. His dad and I were together 5/6years. He wasn't fab when were together. We have been separated for 5 years now. He hardly sees my son. Can disappear for weeks with no contact. Before half term he was supposed to collect him from school. Forgot and I had to go collect him 40 mins late. Just last Thursday my son sat waiting for his dad an again a no show. He never gives me any money for jai. If an when he does it's a 10er here or a 5er there. My son is really starting to struggle and is showing early signs of aniexty. I don't work at the minute. Him and his partner both work full time and have a house together. All I wanted was for my son to have a relationship with his dad. But that isn't going to happen. I'm sick of picking up the pieces of his mess all the time. What direction do I need to go in? Thank you for reading
Mikki - 4-Jun-18 @ 1:36 PM
Mum of 3- Your Question:
I have separated with my children's farther after a 5 year mentality abusive relationship. The children are never happy to go but now I'm having send them screaming shouting crying and holding on to door frames and refusing to leave.They seem to settle at dad's house but I very uneasy about what he says to them, to calm them down. He blames me for this behaviour and thinks I'm making them do it! What rights do my children have? Am I doing the right thing by sending them? Please help

Our Response:
It is difficult to give you an answer to this question, as there are two sides to every story. If you are having issues regarding sending your children to stay with their father, then mediation may be the way forward. If you restrict access to the children's father, then he would have the option to suggest mediation and/or apply to court. Much depends upon which route you wish to take. If the matter goes to court, then Cafcass may get involved at the request of the court. Cafcass will interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or relatives. However, the court prefers separated parents to try to work together to resolve family issues and if they cannot, then mediation is the next step to consider.
ChildSupportLaws - 22-Mar-18 @ 10:47 AM
I have separated with my children's farther after a 5 year mentality abusive relationship. The children are never happy to go but now I'm having send them screaming shouting crying and holding on to door frames and refusing to leave. They seem to settle at dad's house but I very uneasy about what he says to them, to calm them down. He blames me for this behaviour and thinks I'm making them do it! What rights do my children have? Am I doing the right thing by sending them? Please help
Mum of 3 - 21-Mar-18 @ 2:52 PM
Venuslove106 - Your Question:
I am in a relationship with a man who has two daughters, aged 13 and 12, and although the decision will ultimately be shared residency (hopefully) as this divorce is finalised, I was wondering if the girls have any say in where they live most of the time. They are old enough to know what is going on, and know that they want to be with both parents, if they want to be with one more than the other, is that an option?

Our Response:
It is an option once the children become teenager's to express a preference, if the matter goes to court. However, it does not mean the court will act on any preference. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Mar-18 @ 2:47 PM
I am in a relationship with a man who has two daughters, aged 13 and 12, and although the decision will ultimately be shared residency (hopefully) as this divorce is finalised, I was wondering if the girls have any say in where they live most of the time. They are old enough to know what is going on, and know that they want to be with both parents, if they want to be with one more than the other, is that an option?
Venuslove106 - 9-Mar-18 @ 6:35 AM
My son 34struggled with money but always worked , his x partner he supported her 1 year old daughter for 5 years from previous relationship then had their son , after 3/4 years she had affair marriedmoved away . It broke our hearts,he paid maintenance 120 month for 10 years his son now 14. We provided nost of his clothes I have given her bedding and so much more, we collect james nearly every 2 weeks 70 miles away 4trips each time also take him on vacations My son in a relationship 9 years has 3yr old daughter just got better job every time his son comes down we have to wash his clothes always ones we've provided socks shoes smell animal urine, they had lots puppies,but we have kept the peace , last Month he turned up in his trainers caked in mud 100 pound trainers for Christmas so he asked herdoes she know his trainers covered in mud she called him a prick alot worse, all on text. As a grandparent we have such a close relationship with our grandson now she has written to c s afor more money which we k ow is not spent on him! Every coat he has had Is from us, and see ways have to get his haircut. ey like drinking every week end she is drunk, but we know He is safe else we would report it, he has bad sch ool reports in last 2 years shows partying more important that parenting, my son in touch with school see how he is getting on, but she went mad when she found out. Their arrangement was better now she wants more money and in a text has involved us which we have never been nothing but nice, this will affect our grandson as we won't be able to give more which was better as we knew he had it, the c s a will make him pay more which we know will go on her so she gains we all miss out.so unfair.
Candy - 15-Feb-18 @ 7:42 AM
Dannn - Your Question:
I have a current arrangement with my ex having my daughter 5-6 nights in 14 l. I wish to have my daughter more as she if being looked after more by relatives and friends than the mother in the current arrangements she is 5 years old and I live near enough to her school for the travel not to be an issue 25/30min where would I stand on this we have no current court order in place and I pay as per the government calculater. I fear the only reason she would fight this is due to money. What options and chances do I have of increasing the length of time I can have with my daughter (I work 7 days on 7 off so could easily manage the child care myself. Thanks

Our Response:
In the first instance, you would have to suggest mediation to your ex. If your ex refuses to discuss the matter, then your only option would be to apply to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Jan-18 @ 2:22 PM
I have a current arrangement with my ex having my daughter 5-6 nights in 14 l. I wish to have my daughter more as she if being looked after more by relatives and friends than the mother in the current arrangements she is 5 years old and I live near enough to her school for the travel not to be an issue 25/30min where would I stand on this we have no current court order in place and I pay as per the government calculater. I fear the only reason she would fight this is due to money. What options and chances do I have of increasing the length of time I can have with my daughter (I work 7 days on 7 off so could easily manage the child care myself. Thanks
Dannn - 10-Jan-18 @ 7:11 PM
Just a quick quere I separated from my ex (never married)18/19 years ago I was paying csa monthly, then out of the blue she moved to Malta taking our son without my permission. I was still paying CSA, monthly for about 2 years even though she was abroad. I got married 12 years ago have 2 children with my wife. My ex has since married and divorced, whilst still in Malta and currently living with new partner. And she is demanding I pay moneyback dated for 17 years for my son who is now 20 and living back in this country
Dano - 27-Dec-17 @ 2:40 PM
Rachel - Your Question:
My best friend and her ex share joint custody of their children,her 2 daughters are 9 and 13. The father has been mentally abusing the children so the mother is trying to fight in court to get custody of them as they are petrified of their father and the eldest has panic attacks and wrote letters begging the judge to let them stay with their mother as they are so scared but because the father has money and can afford the best lawyers plus he's very good at crying and making out he's the best fther the judge is favouring him,so what to know is why won't the judge see the evidence from social services and the letters the daughter had wrote about he abuse and gone with the mother?

Our Response:
When a case like this occurs, Cafcass will get involved. The Cafcass staff who compile the reports are known as children and family reporters. It’s their job to interview both parents in the case, as well as the children, and any others who might be needed, which could mean social workers, medical professionals, or even relatives. From the interviews they conduct, the reporter will determine two things: whether there should be contact allowed, and, if so, how much. It’s a measure of how important the Cafcass recommendation is that the court will almost invariably adhere to it. Cafcass will also interview any children involved, as long as they’re old enough. Part of the responsibility of the court is to take the wishes of the children into account where possible, although that doesn’t mean that will necessarily happen. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the children’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order. We cannot comment on invidual cases -but the court has to take into consideration the case from both sides. If your friend is representing herself, she MUST and will be treated equally before the law and have equal access to justice. The judges have a duty to ensure a fair trial by giving them due assistance to achieve this.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Nov-17 @ 10:13 AM
My best friend and her ex share joint custody of their children,her 2 daughters are 9 and 13. The father has been mentally abusing the children so the mother is trying to fight in court to get custody of them as they are petrified of their father and the eldest has panic attacks and wrote letters begging the judge to let them stay with their mother as they are so scared but because the father has money and can afford the best lawyers plus he's very good at crying and making out he's the best fther the judge is favouring him,so what to know is why won't the judge see the evidence from social services and the letters the daughter had wrote about he abuse and gone with the mother?
Rachel - 9-Nov-17 @ 3:29 PM
My daughter was on the child protection for concerns related to my history at the end of the summer holidays i was late to collect my child.as a result my childs dad has collected her and refused to give her back.then i took my child back but he did an emercy order behind my back and the court ordered temp residence to him.im so shocked at this because he is a violent man who drinks and takes drugs.nobody was listening to me so yesterday on my conract day i took my child back and run away i felt i had no option as he scared me threatning me on fone.now hes saying he not allowing me or my family to speak to my child i carnt get legal aid because i have no proif hes still violent as it was 6 years ago he got arrested for been violent to me i dont no were to turn my childs devastated as am.
Lozy - 2-Sep-17 @ 11:23 PM
Myself and my partner have had a couple of stressful weeks we had a heated row where it got a little physical my partners ex is now stopping their son from coming to our home due to this police was phoned but it was put down to wasting police time although the children were there we have sorted everything out and a court order is in place but she said she would stop full contact if he comes near our home address
Bex - 29-Aug-17 @ 8:34 PM
Tom - Your Question:
I am 16 and my mother doesn't want me to see my dad, does she have to right to stop me from seeing him since when they got divorced the outcome was joint custody and they haven't gone to court to get it changed?

Our Response:
If you mother wishes to change the terms of the court order, she would have to apply back to court. If she attempts to breach the court order by stopping you from seeing your dad, your dad would have to the option to refer the matter back to court. As you are now 16, your opinion would count. However, the court will always decide upon what it thinks is in your best interests when making a decision.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Jul-17 @ 12:58 PM
I am 16 and my mother doesn't want me to see my dad, does she have to right to stop me from seeing him since when they got divorced the outcome was joint custody and they haven't gone to court to get it changed?
Tom - 26-Jul-17 @ 12:30 AM
@Mowbs - Your boy is now classed as an adult so shouldn't really feature in this equation. If he goes back into full-time education you may be able to claim maintenance from his mum.
Jem78 - 15-Jun-17 @ 4:09 PM
Evolve - Your Question:
I share equal custody over our children aged 7 it is a total 50/50 split and have done this for the last 2 years. Now ex wants to move to where they were born and be nearer their family over 300 miles away and take the children. She has a right to move but they are been selfish and thinking of themselves and not the children. They have nearly done 3 years at school and are settled, along with friends from school and neighbourhood. Can they take the children and what can I do legally if they do this?

Our Response:
If you share 50/50 residency of your children and you object to the move, then you can apply through court for a Specific Issue Order. Specific Issue Orders, much like the name suggests, are orders sought from the family court to determine a particular matter in connection with the exercise of Parental Responsibility. These orders can cover a wide range of issues that you and your ex-partner cannot agree on, such as your ex taking your children out of the area to live. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the children in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jun-17 @ 12:52 PM
I share equal custody over our children aged 7 it is a total 50/50 split and have done this for the last 2 years. Now ex wants to move to where they were born and be nearer their family over 300 miles away and take the children. She has a right to move but they are been selfish and thinking of themselves and not the children. They have nearly done 3 years at school and are settled, along with friends from school and neighbourhood. Can they take the children and what can I do legally if they do this?
Evolve - 13-Jun-17 @ 11:57 PM
I have two kids. One who stays with me is now 19 and out of work and has not been able to get work and has been told he not intitled to dole money. I have a 13 year old daughter that I have to pay mantinance for. This is where it gets mesy, I have to feed cloth and keep my son and is under my address fool time, I have my daughter 3 weekends out a month from Friday to Monday, and have to pay 168 q month but been told even with ex working I won't get anything to help keep our son and when my daughter comes down she has no clothes with her and with the cms payment being so high I hqve no money left to buy clothes to cloth her.so my question is if I don't pay so I can pout clothes on her and feed her at mine I get my wages arrested.but there is nothing in place so that I don't have to pay twice and last conversation I was told to go to a food bank so I could feed her Why is there a double standard in place yet again
Mowbs - 9-Jun-17 @ 9:12 PM
How Is it possible for CSA to state ex has to pay over 130 pounds a month and when CSM took over had said he needs to pay 104 a month when nothing has changed except he now earns 2000 more. If child laws are so important to the government how is it fair the children have their money slashed yet again and CSM in Ireland actually said the government have messed up by stating if they get a pay rise as long as it doesn't go over 25% of what they earn they can keep it from their child how disgusting where do children stand
Kay - 8-Mar-17 @ 8:13 PM
Anya - Your Question:
My son's ex does not allow him to have contact with their son niw aged 10, only once every six weeks for abour 3 hrs. She does not allow the boy to spend any weekends or holidays with his dad.She now started to cohabit with someone and is going to move intothat person's house, thus reducing her expenditure.Despite that she will not agree to any reduction in support payments.Is there anything my son can do?

Our Response:
Firstly, child maintenance and child access are unrelated meaning by law the non-resident parent has to support his child financially, regardless of whether he sees the child or not. In addition, child maintenance is not based on who the resident parent is living with or what income is coming into the house, the father is still eligible to pay through assessment of his earnings. If your son wishes to have more contact with his child, he can either suggest mediation to his ex in order to try to resolve the problem, or apply to take the matter to court. If he cannot afford the legal fees of employing a solicitor, he can self-litigate. Likewise, he may get a reduction in court costs if he is on a low income. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 2-Nov-16 @ 1:58 PM
My son's ex does not allow him to have contact with their son niw aged 10, only once every six weeks for abour 3 hrs. She does not allow the boy to spend any weekends or holidays with his dad. She now started to cohabit with someone and is going to move intothat person's house, thus reducing her expenditure. Despite that she will not agree to any reduction in support payments. Is there anything my son can do?
Anya - 1-Nov-16 @ 6:52 PM
Becky - Your Question:
Hi I'm enquiring for my sister as she doesn't understand mentally.she's been on her own with 5 kids for a few years now after getting out of a controlling relationship & the father of 3 only pays £50 per week when it suits him & that's after she has contacted him as he won't set up a direct debit (still controlling ).He's self employed & says if csa get involved that he can fiddle the books so it doesn't show his true income.Is this right please & should she get csa involved? Thank you

Our Response:
It is always a difficult question to answer as essentially yes, your sister's ex can make it look as though he is earning less than he makes such as by putting more items down as expenses. It means the CSA/CMS are powerless to enforce child maintenance unless they or your sister can prove he earns more than he is registering.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Sep-16 @ 12:37 PM
Hi I'm enquiring for my sister as she doesn't understand mentally. she's been on her own with 5 kids for a few years now after getting out of a controlling relationship & the father of 3 only pays £50 per week when it suits him & that's after she has contacted him as he won't set up a direct debit (still controlling ) . He's self employed & says if csa get involved that he can fiddle the books so it doesn't show his true income. Is this right please & should she get csa involved? Thank you
Becky - 7-Sep-16 @ 7:57 PM
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