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Children's Rights Abuses
Jennifer McGuire, Freehold Township High School

CORE QUESTIONS:

  1. Why does the world require human rights for children?
  2. How can the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD assist to eradicate the abuses placed upon the children of the world?
  3. How does the USA apply the articles of the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD?

OVERVIEW:In order for the rights found in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD to be effective, and make a personal impact with students, the students must be able to examine the very issues and abuses the articles wish to abolish. Once the incidents of abuse against children have been identified, students will be afforded a better understanding as to why the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD is needed. In addition, students can explore the articles to identify their intended resolutions.

TIME: Approximately 45 minutes.

GRADE LEVEL: Grades 7-12.

INTERDISCIPLINARY CONNECTIONS: Geography

NEW JERSEY CORE CURRICULUM STANDARDS: 6.1 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.8

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Students will understand the need for the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.
  2. Students will work cooperatively in groups to solve problems.
  3. Students will examine the global incidents infringing upon children’s rights.
  4. Students will apply the articles of the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD to resolve issues of poverty, discrimination, and abuse.
  5. Students will be able to identify USA’s level of participation in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD treaty.
  6. Students will be able to describe the struggle and strife felt by their global peers.

STRATEGIES:

Kick-Off Questions:

  1. Why does the world require human rights for children?
  2. How can the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD assist to eradicate the abuses placed upon the children of the world?
  3. Discussion

Activity:

Distribute a summary of the articles in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (Teacher should prepare a summary sheet after consulting the web site for the document. Distribute the handout citing incidents of abuse on children’s rights—You can access it by clicking on this link and it will open up in Microsoft Word and then you can print a copy for yourself and get photocopies made).

Read through the first incident together.

  • Ask students to examine the articles and cite what articles are in violation
  • Answers may vary—discuss differences in opinion among your students

Then instruct students to work cooperatively to complete the handout. After completion, discuss answers. Ask students to express their reactions to the lives lived by children of other nations. How does their life compare to yours?

Final question is on the USA:

Students should respond that the incident violates the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.

Explain that in fact the USA does not violate the treaty technically because the USA has yet to ratify the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD (the Senate must approve it by a 2/3rds majority) so the USA is not bound to CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD.

Discussion:

Discuss with students the three types of rights found in the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD:

Provision

Protection

Participation

Ask students to explain where these rights are found in the USA

Provision – health care, standard of living, education, protection of privacy

Protection – exploitation, discrimination, juvenile justice

Participation – survival, development

Closing discussion:

Lead students in a discussion as to why the USA has not signed the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD? What would the USA have to do in order to sign the treaty? Direct students to understand that the USA would have to accept that the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD has the power to override national laws if the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD laws maintain higher standards. For example, the USA currently believes, higher education and health care to be privileges. The USA also tries child criminals as adults, potentially sentencing children to die. How would life in America change if the USA were to adopt the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD?

MATERIALS:

RESOURCES:

Websites:

Print:

  • Balton, David A., Human Rights in the Classroom: Teaching The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies 1992,Volume 56(4), pp. 210-212.
  • Cantwell, Nigel, Conventionally Theirs: An Overview of the Origins, Content, and Significance of the Convention on he Rights of the Child, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies,1992,Volume 56(4),pp. 207-210.
  • Edmonds, Beverly C., The Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Point of Departure, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies,1992,Volume 56(4), pp. 205-207.
  • Miljeteig-Olsen, Per,Children’s Participation: Giving Children the Opportunity to Develop into Active and Responsible Members of Society, Social Education, The National Council for the Social Studies,1992, Volume 56(4), pp. 216.

ASSESSMENT:

The worksheet could be collected for a class work grade. Otherwise assessment will consist of discussion and questioning. Teacher will also assess the students understanding of the use and application of the CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD by examining student responses to the handout.


To learn more about the influence of Children's Rights on our global society, click on the links below:
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