Children and discrimination

Did you know that, in Madagascar, the murder or rejection of children thought to be “born on an unlucky day” continues in some places? Or that in some countries, children can be detained for acts which are not treated as offences when committed by adults? While these are some of the more extreme and overt examples of discriminatory treatment faced by children, subtle day-to-day prejudice is much more pervasive.

Discrimination is a major reason why children's rights remain unfulfilled. That is why CRIN, the Child Rights Information Network, has launched a new toolkit with information and advocacy ideas to promote children's right to non-discrimination.

The web-based toolkit explores how discrimination affects the full range of children’s rights, with a particular focus on age-based discrimination

Challenging discrimination

Challenging discrimination against children requires a range of strategies which cover many different areas and are rightfully tailored to account for the particular situation of children in their countries.

Nevertheless, successful efforts will include certain key components. These include: changing legislation, policy, attitudes, as well as the physical environment and the allocation of resources that perpetuate inequalities and discrimination, providing channels for children's participation, collecting data, and establishing mechanisms to monitor and report discrimination.

The web site provides some guidance on these diverse areas and examples of how discrimination has been successfully challenged.

The aims of this site are to:

  • promote understanding of how discrimination affects all children's rights
  • shed light on age discrimination against children
  • support the removal of barriers to all children's inclusion

A snapshot of discrimination against children

  • Most countries' laws do not protect children from violence in the same way they protect adults. Only 24 countries in the world have banned corporal punishment against children in all settings.
  • An estimated 60 per cent of children with an intellectual impairment experience sexual abuse.
  • In Iran, the criminal age of responsibility is 14 years and seven months for boys and eight years and nine months for girls
  • Governments across Europe have discriminated against Roma children. For example, the European Court of Human Rights recently ruled against the Czech Republic for wrongly channeling Roma children into schools for children with learning disabilities.
  • In some parts of Benin and theº* Central African Republic, children who are born buttocks-first may face discrimination.
  • In the UK, children are deterred from being in public spaces where adults are allowed to associate freely.

Click here to visit this new site.


For more information about CRIN, the Child Rights Information Network, please click on the logo below.




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