Rights international community, following the creation of The

Rights of the child in
Tunisia

 

“If we
do not stand up for children , then we do not stand up for much .” Marian
W.Edelman

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Before studying this module  child rights never crossed my mind , I tended
to take it for granted  . I thought  that 
children  have  the same rights  of adults 
. Now I think I need to give it a second  thought . It seems that I do
not even know  my children as Rousseau
said ” Start by knowing your children , 
and you will discover that you do not know a lot about them ” .

The recognition of the
rights of the child over the course of time 

In the Antiquity, nobody thought to give special  rights  to children. Starting from  the middle of the 19th century, the idea  first appeared  in France and spread across Europe afterwards
,  giving children special  rights and 
protection . Since 1841, laws  have
started  to protect children in their
workplace , and later on other laws 
pioneered to  include the right
for the children to be educated.

At the beginning of the 20th century, children’s
protection started to appear in some international conventions  , including protection in the medical, social
and judicial fields.

Since 1919, the international community, following the
creation of The League of Nations  ,
started  to give some kind of importance
to that concept and elaborated  a
Committee for child protection.

Definition  of the word 
” child”

The  conception of the word ” child” ,  and the age of the majority varied from a
culture to another.  Indeed , The meaning  evolved a lot through centuries and cultures
to finally designate  a human being under
the age of 18 .

Etymologically speaking ,
the term “child” comes from the Latin infans which means ” the one who does not
speak “.  Conversely ,for the Roman, this
term designated  the child from its
birth, up to the age of 7 years. 
Recently , The Convention on the Rights
of the Child of 1989 defines more precisely the
term “child”:

“a child is any human being below the age of eighteen
years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained
earlier”

The idea, through this definition and all the
different texts concerning child welfare, is that the child is a human being
who should be entitled to specific rights  
in addition to those of adults . Children’s  rights are 
a specific part of human rights because the differentiation between
adults and children requires additional protection for children  because of their immaturity  and 
vulnerability. Indeed, the child is growing, a future adult, who has no
means to protect himself. So,  he  has to be the object of a particular interest
and a specific protection. In this perspective, texts proclaiming the
protection of the child and his rights were adopted.

Historical overview of the
Children’s rights evolution

 

 

 

 

Child
rights in Tunisia

By and
large , Tunisia was not an exception in the field of child rights  . According to a report drafted by
UNICEF  in 2015 , Tunisia
developed   an extensive legislative system of protection
of its people  to ensure the rights of
its future generation . One of the  most noticeable advancement  happens particularly in child
rights . However ,   this advancement is not necessarily a  very recent one . In the
wake   of its independence , Tunisia
adopted  a  pioneering policy to reduce gender-based
discrimination in education and increase 
the number of girls attending school  
.  Education became compulsory
from 6 to 16 . Additionally ,  particular
attention was paid to children with special needs to ensure their social
inclusion .  Children with disabilities
benefit from a school and professional insertion programme run by government
and non-governmental organisations.

 Believing that child protection is
imperative  Tunisia  has ratified the Convention on the Rights of
the Child and its Optional Protocols, promulgated the Child Protection Code,
and enacted many laws over the years. Several bodies have been established in
order to popularize international and national instruments and protect the best
interests of the child.

 In the aftermath of The Tunisian revolution
Child rights were enshrined in the new constitution of 2014. Article 47
stipulates that :

“children are guaranteed
the rights to dignity , health , care , 
and education by their parents and the state .

The state must provide all
forms of protection to all children , without discrimination and in accordance
with their best interest s” .The graph below illustrates the most fundamental
rights of children in Tunisia.

My reflection

 

The constitutionalization
of children’s  rights  commits all stakeholders to protect  children from any form of abuse and to act in
their  best interest ,  and it goes without saying that the
inspector  should first have an idea
about the legislative regulations that protect children who are at the heart of
the educational act .

This module which was run by Mr .
Rhim was not only beneficial in terms of the new knowledge that we learnt about
child rights . I must admit that this module had a wide range of benefits ,
chief among them the way of  running  a training session . Unlike some other
sessions ,  where
lecturing was almost the only way of delivering training sessions   Mr.
Rhim started  this module by asking us
about our expectations , and later he 
presented his expectations  to
find out whether they are more or less the same or there is a mismatch .  Bearing those 
expectations in mind he asked us to give 
a definition of the child  , then
he  moved to different laws that provided
legislative protection to the child . He used 
a panoply of  tools and techniques
ranging from handouts  , PowerPoint
presentation ,  and  case studies of two children whose rights
were violated , a girl in Yemen , and a boy in Pakistan  .

 Recalling the different things that we encountered
in this module I can say that I benefited from 
his knowledge ,  time management ,
the interaction patterns , the tools , the techniques , the humour he injected
in his session.

Children’s rights: rights
adapted to children

Children’s
rights are human rights specifically adapted to the child because they take
into account his fragility, specificities and age-appropriate needs.

Children’s
rights take into account the necessity of development of the child. The children thus have
the right to live and to develop suitably physically and intellectually.

Children’s
rights plan to satisfy the essential needs for a good development of the child,
such as the access to an appropriate alimentation, to necessary care, to
education, etc.

Children’s
rights consider the vulnerable character of the child. They imply the necessity
to protect them. It means to grant a particular assistance to them and to give
a protection adapted to their age and to their degree of maturity.

So,
the children have to be helped and supported and must be protected against
labour exploitation, kidnapping, and ill-treatment, etc.

Why
is it important for a future inspector to know the rights of children ?

The emotional, social and physical
development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development
and on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to invest
in very young children is so important, so as to maximize their future
well-being.

 

It is about a
child’s needs and rights being recognized and met, being protected and provided
for, and feeling cared for, respected and included. It is also about having
opportunities to express personal agency and creativity, feeling able to
contribute, love and care for others, to take on responsibilities and fulfil
roles, to identify with personal and community activities, and to share in
collective celebrations.

According to a report by
OECD in 20012 , ” the pressure to increase equity and improve educational
outcomes for students is growing around the world ”

Children’s
rights  take into account his fragility,
specificities and age-appropriate needs,  the necessity of development of the child.
The children thus have the right to live and to develop suitably physically and
intellectually.

Children’s
rights plan to satisfy the essential needs for a good development of the child,
such as the access to appropriate  and
good  education, etc.

Children’s
rights consider the vulnerable character of the child. They imply the necessity
to protect them. It means to grant a particular assistance to them and to give
a protection adapted to their age and to their degree of maturity.

So, the children have
to be helped and supported and must be protected against 

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