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Understanding Children's Rights

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 2 Sep 2017 | 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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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
Not sure where I stand with this and would like advice. Split with my partner and I am concerned by her ability to look after the children. She is lazy and neglectful and when I go to see the kids I usually have to spend a lot of time cleaning the house and washing their clothes as she never seems to do this. I have found rotten food, excrement, broken glass and a large knife in the bedrooms on the past that she has failed to pick up. They never leave the house except to be taken to nursery and spend all their time in a separate playroom unattended and watching TV. I can't afford my own place at the moment as she left me in a lot of debt and has continued to borrow money since we split and now has no intention of paying back. Don't know which way to turn and would like some advice
draw - 10-Jul-16 @ 7:14 PM
My ex husband does not support our 12 years old son. When asked for child support he said if he doesnt live with him he will not pay and that our son will look for him when he is older. Because he is a boy. Now he is divorced and has another son who he's left with his mother to raise abroad. He makes irregular contacts by phone which gets my son very angry after his calls to the extent that we are seeing CAMHS for support.He lives in the US and I recently asked him to notorized the biys American passport renewal. He said he'll do it but a few days later he he refused insisting on having my address. I gave him my sisters address to send the form to because he is erratic and since he left for the USA in 2004, we don't have his address.He recently sent my son his contact detail after 12 years. But it turned out that the house has been repossesed. He doesn't think about the boys emotional well being. When the boy refuses to talk to him he blames me and calls me all sorts of names. I decided to ignore his emails because you can't reason with him. All he keeps saying is the boy is his son and he loves him but he doesn't show that. I didn't apply for custody when we divorced in 2008 becausei tboight he would be civilabd sensible, but he makes everything difficult eventhough I am the primary carer for my son all these years. I need to renew my son's American passportbut he wants my address and that is not something I am prepared to do. I have decided that since he never played any role in raising the boy I should now apply for full custody so that I can continue to make decisions e.g. renew passports without seeking his input. The USA embassy requiresa custody order if he is not willing. My son has gone through so much emotionallyfrom being bullied in school and the feeling of rejection by his father has taken a toll on him. My older brother is the one positive make influence in his life and ge's been asking to go and visit since our last visit in 2009 but my exwill not send the firm. Please can you advise me on how to address this. I need custody sorted quickly so that I can get his passport renewed and I want full custody to avoid all this negativity from my ex. My son says he does not want to see him so I can't force him. Please advise needed urgently.Thank you
Esi - 8-Jul-16 @ 12:52 PM
My daughter is nine years old,recently she dose not want to stay with di long. There is a court arrangements about time with both of us. Which right my daughtet have in court if she dose not want to stay with the father so long.
Hope - 10-Jun-16 @ 12:17 PM
I need to know what I can do to help my partners nephew has been Staying with us for a year now, under a family agreement but now the child's mother doesn't want him staying with us anymore so he has been taken and placed in care he clearly wants to come back home, what can we do?
Ali - 7-May-16 @ 10:57 PM
Abiabi - Your Question:
My ex was voilent and controlling we split up about three years ago now and he convinced me that my son should attend nursery with him and that he should claim his benefits. now as my son reaches the age of four I believe it is in his best interest to stay with me due to he wanting to be with his sister and brother attend school and have a good family environment the rules and boundaries. I see my son acting out and coming with drawn each time I pick him up ( we have a joint agreement where we share custordy ). what are my rights as a mother ?

Our Response:
If your ex is the primary carer of your son, then if you wished your son to live with you full time and your ex does not agree with this, then you would need to apply for a Child Arrangement Order through the courts, please see link here. It will be up to the court to decide who your son should live with on the basis of what it thinks is in your son's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Apr-16 @ 10:35 AM
My ex was voilent and controlling we split up about three years ago now and he convinced me that my son should attend nursery with him and that he should claim his benefits . now as my son reaches the age of four I believe it is in his best interest to stay with me due to he wanting to be with his sister and brother attend school and have a good family environment the rules and boundaries. I see my son acting out and coming with drawn each time I pick him up ( we have a joint agreement where we share custordy ) . what are my rights as a mother ?
Abiabi - 24-Apr-16 @ 8:06 AM
Where do I stand if my ex is married to a solider and lives in cypress?? Haven't seen my daughter for 4 years but every time I ask for access she says not until I pay more money
Piddzy88 - 23-Aug-15 @ 3:40 PM
@Nicnakste87 - I'm afraid this is a tricky one, given that the biological father, despite never having contact, does have certain parental rights if he is named on the birth certificate. Your ex will have the right to take you to court to see his daughter, how the courts might rule, can't be predicted. The fact that your daughter is only five, means that this can be explained much easier than it would had she have been much older, so that is some consolation at least. It depends on whether you want to be honest with your child, or continue to try to hide something, until you can't hide it any longer, as it looks as though her father is not going to go away.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Jun-15 @ 11:57 AM
Hi, My daughter is almost 5 and has not seen her biological father for 3 years. My husband has brought up my daughter and took her on his own and as far as she is aware he is her father. Now her biological father wants contact out of the blue. He has never kept regular contact and i am worried that telling my daughter at such a young age will have a seriously bad affect on her and will not only confuse her but turn her little world upside down. Can some one help. Thanks
Nicnakste87 - 21-Jun-15 @ 10:11 PM
@Pootle - he can try and change this, but if you don't agree you would have to let him take you to court. If you cannot afford solicitor's fees you can self-litigate, see the link; Legal Aid Withdrawal: How to Represent Yourself here. However, before it went to court you may be asked to go to mediation in order to try and sort it out between you. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Apr-15 @ 11:08 AM
I have shared residency 50% but my daughters dad now wants 5 days on 5 days off. My daughter doesnt shes 8. He doesn't feed her well living on packet microwave foods and sweets and ice cream. There is also late nights and he sleeps with her in his bed. He says he'll take me to court if i don't comply. Our arrangement has been so for 4.5 years and works. Can he change this? I cant get legal aid and cznt afford court. HELP!
Pootle - 30-Mar-15 @ 10:45 AM
@Jacobs - this is very unusual. You should not be asked to sell a house to fund your daughter. You haven't explained very much, are you in arrears? Is it because you owe money? It is difficult to advise as you have given very little detail.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Mar-15 @ 12:42 PM
I have four children and the csa want to sell my four houses (which are in a trust for my kids ) they are taking me to court to undo the trust They say that my other 16 year old daughter needs the 60 thousand pounds and basically my four kids don't need there family home ?
Jacobs - 26-Mar-15 @ 4:27 PM
Hi, my daughter is 3 yrs old and under a court order. She came home one evening from her dads in a distressing state. She has claimed something happened to her and I thought she might be slightly exaggerating but next time the father came she ran and hid and wouldn't go. My ex lives with his mum and its his mother who's upset my daughter so now my daughter won't go. I am now having to go to a contested hearing to support my daughters rights to what she wants. That's to see dad, but not stay over. I am unsure how this will turn out because I can not afford legal help and I have no crime ref numbers to support the domestic violence. Only photos of the bruises left behind. I don't want the court to think I am being disrespectful to their judgement and I am not purposely doing this. I really am concerned. Social services won't get involved to provide an assessment so I have no evidence to submit. My ex pays me £7 a week maintenance due to ill health he is claiming benefits, yet has the money for a solicitor. When he lived with me, we was both working and he worked away paying me nothing towards the bills. This means no savings of my own to fight with. I just want to get on with my life, and he was having my daughter every week and alternate weekends. I feel that if I had legal help the first time round then the arrangements would not have been made this way. It's affecting my daughter the worst, as she does not understand why she has to go. She refuses every time I try to encourage her. I have tried so many different ways, and her facial expressions change on the mention of staying over night. I'm lost. I have till next wk to submit evidence and statement with only my daughters word. Her voice, I feel is not being listened to and as a mother I am automatically steered into to protecting what it is she wants to do. I have snipits of evidence to prove the father may be involved in something bad, although I feel it would put my daughters safety at risk if I submit this and it does not bring a positive change.
Lisa - 7-Mar-15 @ 1:02 AM
@tigger - you would have to apply for a residency order. As she is 14, her opinion will be taken into consideration through the courts. However, the court will also want the stability of a regular school and family relationships etc, as they will have her best interests at heart.
Debs - 25-Feb-15 @ 2:42 PM
Hi my daughter currently lives with her father ,and she wants to live with me she is 14 years old and we are going throw a divorce , and in which I moved away from the south to the North due to my ex husband to be . Can anyone help
tigger - 23-Feb-15 @ 8:23 PM
Hi there, if he's the childs father and is named on the birth certificate,he is within his legal rights to take the child unless the grandparents get a court order! The child will have a say in where he/she wants to go once at the age of 11. If under 11 the court will decide what's in the child's best interest.
baldeagle101 - 15-Feb-15 @ 9:13 PM
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