Children's rights

Children's rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to the young,[1] including their right to association with both biological parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child.[2] Interpretations of children's rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes "abuse" is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.[3] "A child is any human being below the age of eighteen years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier."[4] According to Cornell University, a child is a person, not a subperson, and the parent has absolute interest and possession of the child, but this is very much an American view. The term "child" does not necessarily mean minor but can include adult children as well as adult nondependent children.[5] There are no definitions of other terms used to describe young people such as "adolescents", "teenagers," or "youth" in international law,[6] but the children's rights movement is considered distinct from the youth rights movement. The field of children's rights spans the fields of law, politics, religion, and morality. Human rights are commonly understood as "inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being."[1] Human rights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national and international law.[2] The doctrine of human rights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy aroun

the world. The idea of human rights[3] states, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of human rights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of human rights continue to provoke considerable skepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of human rights to this day. Indeed, the question of what is meant by a "right" is itself controversial and the subject of continued philosophical debate.[4] Many of the basic ideas that animated the human rights movement developed in the aftermath of the Second World War and the atrocities of The Holocaust, culminating in the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948. The ancient world did not possess the concept of universal human rights.[5] Ancient societies had "elaborate systems of duties... conceptions of justice, political legitimacy, and human flourishing that sought to realize human dignity, flourishing, or well-being entirely independent of human rights".[6] The modern concept of human rights developed during the early Modern period, alongside the European secularization of Judeo-Christian ethics.[7] The true forerunner of human rights discourse was the concept of natural rights which appeared as part of the medieval Natural law tradition that became prominent during the Enlightenment with such philosophers as John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, and Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, and featured prominently in the political discourse of the American Revolution and the French Revolution. From this foundation, the modern human rights arguments emerged over the latter half of the twentieth century. Gelling as social activism and political rhetoric in many nations put it high on the world agenda.[8] All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. —Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

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