Rights of the child inTunisia “If wedo not stand up for children , then we do not stand up for much .” MarianW.Edelman Before studying this module child rights never crossed my mind , I tendedto 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 donot even know my children as Rousseausaid ” Start by knowing your children , and you will discover that you do not know a lot about them ” .The recognition of therights 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 havestarted to protect children in theirworkplace , and later on other laws pioneered to include the rightfor the children to be educated. At the beginning of the 20th century, children’sprotection started to appear in some international conventions , including protection in the medical, socialand judicial fields. Since 1919, the international community, following thecreation of The League of Nations ,started to give some kind of importanceto that concept and elaborated aCommittee for child protection.
Definition of the word ” child”The conception of the word ” child” , and the age of the majority varied from aculture to another. Indeed , The meaning evolved a lot through centuries and culturesto finally designate a human being underthe age of 18 . Etymologically speaking ,the term “child” comes from the Latin infans which means ” the one who does notspeak “. Conversely ,for the Roman, thisterm designated the child from itsbirth, up to the age of 7 years. Recently , The Convention on the Rightsof the Child of 1989 defines more precisely theterm “child”:”a child is any human being below the age of eighteenyears, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attainedearlier”The idea, through this definition and all thedifferent texts concerning child welfare, is that the child is a human beingwho 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 betweenadults and children requires additional protection for children because of their immaturity and vulnerability. Indeed, the child is growing, a future adult, who has nomeans to protect himself. So, he has to be the object of a particular interestand a specific protection. In this perspective, texts proclaiming theprotection of the child and his rights were adopted.Historical overview of theChildren’s rights evolution Childrights in Tunisia By andlarge , Tunisia was not an exception in the field of child rights . According to a report drafted byUNICEF in 2015 , Tunisiadeveloped an extensive legislative system of protectionof its people to ensure the rights ofits future generation . One of the most noticeable advancement happens particularly in childrights . However , this advancement is not necessarily a very recent one .
In thewake of its independence , Tunisiaadopted a pioneering policy to reduce gender-baseddiscrimination in education and increase the number of girls attending school . Education became compulsoryfrom 6 to 16 . Additionally , particularattention was paid to children with special needs to ensure their socialinclusion . Children with disabilitiesbenefit from a school and professional insertion programme run by governmentand non-governmental organisations.
Believing that child protection isimperative Tunisia has ratified the Convention on the Rights ofthe Child and its Optional Protocols, promulgated the Child Protection Code,and enacted many laws over the years. Several bodies have been established inorder to popularize international and national instruments and protect the bestinterests of the child. In the aftermath of The Tunisian revolutionChild rights were enshrined in the new constitution of 2014. Article 47stipulates that :”children are guaranteedthe rights to dignity , health , care , and education by their parents and the state .The state must provide allforms of protection to all children , without discrimination and in accordancewith their best interest s” .The graph below illustrates the most fundamentalrights of children in Tunisia.
My reflection The constitutionalizationof children’s rights commits all stakeholders to protect children from any form of abuse and to act intheir best interest , and it goes without saying that theinspector should first have an ideaabout the legislative regulations that protect children who are at the heart ofthe educational act . This module which was run by Mr .Rhim was not only beneficial in terms of the new knowledge that we learnt aboutchild 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 othersessions , wherelecturing was almost the only way of delivering training sessions Mr.
Rhim started this module by asking usabout our expectations , and later he presented his expectations tofind 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 , thenhe moved to different laws that providedlegislative protection to the child . He used a panoply of tools and techniquesranging from handouts , PowerPointpresentation , and case studies of two children whose rightswere violated , a girl in Yemen , and a boy in Pakistan . Recalling the different things that we encounteredin this module I can say that I benefited from his knowledge , time management ,the interaction patterns , the tools , the techniques , the humour he injectedin his session.Children’s rights: rightsadapted to childrenChildren’srights are human rights specifically adapted to the child because they takeinto account his fragility, specificities and age-appropriate needs.Children’srights take into account the necessity of development of the child. The children thus havethe right to live and to develop suitably physically and intellectually.Children’srights plan to satisfy the essential needs for a good development of the child,such as the access to an appropriate alimentation, to necessary care, toeducation, etc.
Children’srights consider the vulnerable character of the child. They imply the necessityto protect them. It means to grant a particular assistance to them and to givea protection adapted to their age and to their degree of maturity.So,the children have to be helped and supported and must be protected againstlabour exploitation, kidnapping, and ill-treatment, etc.
Whyis it important for a future inspector to know the rights of children ?The emotional, social and physicaldevelopment of young children has a direct effect on their overall developmentand on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to investin very young children is so important, so as to maximize their futurewell-being. It is about achild’s needs and rights being recognized and met, being protected and providedfor, and feeling cared for, respected and included. It is also about havingopportunities to express personal agency and creativity, feeling able tocontribute, love and care for others, to take on responsibilities and fulfilroles, to identify with personal and community activities, and to share incollective celebrations.According to a report byOECD in 20012 , ” the pressure to increase equity and improve educationaloutcomes for students is growing around the world “Children’srights 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 andintellectually.Children’srights plan to satisfy the essential needs for a good development of the child,such as the access to appropriate andgood education, etc.Children’srights consider the vulnerable character of the child.
They imply the necessityto protect them. It means to grant a particular assistance to them and to givea protection adapted to their age and to their degree of maturity.So, the children haveto be helped and supported and must be protected against