Child Rights

The United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child defines a ‘child’ as “a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger”. The committee on the Rights of the child, the monitoring body for the Convention, has encouraged States to review age of majority if it is set below 18 and to increase the level of protection for all children under 18.

The League of Nations adopted the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1924), which enunciated the child's right to receive the requirements for normal development, the right of the hungry child to be fed, the right of the sick child to receive health care, the right of the backward child to be reclaimed, the right of orphans to shelter, and the right to protection from exploitation. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in Article 25(2) recognized the need of motherhood and childhood to ‘special protection and assistance"’ and the right of all children to ‘social protection’. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959), which enunciated ten principles for the protection of children's rights, including the universality of rights, the right to special protection, and the right to protection from discrimination, among other rights. Children’s rights law is defined as the point where the law intersects with a child's life.

That includes juvenile delinquency, due process for children involved in the criminal justice system, appropriate representation, and effective rehabilitative services; care and protection for children in state care; ensuring education for all children regardless of their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, ethnicity, or other characteristics, and; health care and advocacy.

In addition to, there are lot of social issues emerge with child rights in Sri Lanka such as child poverty, abuse, mal-nutrition, disability, street children, child laborer etc. Child poverty is a broad phrase which is used to refer to a wide range of issues those impact children’s capabilities, wellbeing and future potential as well as there is little accurate data to indicate the number of children living on the streets,

As a social issue, child rights are changed context to context, time to time and child to child. Lack of knowledge about child rights is a main reason for this issue. People don’t have any idea about child rights. What are the child rights, rules, regulations, norms or customs? how introduce child harassments or violence, how prevent them, how to protect their child from child violence, who are the responsible and what are the legal actions against to harassments etc. So as a society people should be inform well about their- own children rights and devote further children evermore.

Currently, FRIENDS is facilitating to implement district level and village level civil society groups effectively. These organizations are being capacitated for working as child protection groups. Further in Puttalam district child protection and promotion program implements covering three divisional secretariat divisions.