Child Rights – Life skills notes KNEC


Child Rights

Definition of terms

Human Rights refers to any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled to and in whose exercise a government may not interfere

Child Abuse refers to any form of physical, sexual, psychological and metal injury to a child

Child Neglect means deprivation of the rights of the child – failure of caretakers to provide adequate emotional and physical care for a child

Child labor refers to any situation where a child provides labor in exchange for payment, Need: A need is something you cannot do without.

Ratification refers to making something valid by formally confirming it.

Types of human needs

  1. Physiological
  2. Psychological

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

UNCRC was developed in 1989. In 1990, Kenya Government ratified the Convection of the Right of the Child being the 20th Country.

Reporting procedures of UNCRC

Each country after signing and ratifying the UN Convection is under an obligation to report to UNCRC committee, which is charged with monitoring compliance with, and implementation of UNCRC.

A country is supposed to give a report 2 years after signing and every 5 years thereafter.

The report should be a representative of all stakeholders. In case of conflicting views from civil society a supplementary report should be forwarded to the committee while resolving the conflict.

Kenya was late in sending the report in 1992, having ratified the convection in 1990. No report was forwarded after 5 years i.e. 1997 as required by UNCRC committee. Kenya sent a combined report in 1998 that is after 7 years.

A lot has been done in Kenya towards domesticating UNCRC resulting to children’s Act 2002 that translates UNCRC into a legislature item in Kenya.

The children’s Act 2001


The date of assent: 31st December 2001 Date of commencement: 1st March, 2002

The enactment of Children’s Act of 2001 gives effect to the obligations of Kenya under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Children (ACRWC).

It is an Act of Parliament to make provision for parental responsibility, fostering, adoption, custody, maintenance, guardianship, care and protection of children, to make provision for the administration of children’s institutions

Provides for the rights of the child and seeks to enhance the welfare of the child Merges the provision of other laws that affect children: adoption Act;

Guardianship of the Infants, Children and Young Persons

Rights: right is what a human being deserves or entitlement is by law or heritage. They are those things that are important for the well-being of every human being. A right is not something that someone gives you; it is something that no body can take away. They are God given.

The four broad categories of children’s right

The concept of UNCRC was set up in 1989 as a standard agreement that set basic standards for children’s well being. The convention contains 54 articles articulated in 4 broad categories. These include:

1.  The Right to Life and Survival

There are four sub-categories of the Right to Life and Survival. They are:

Right to medical care

  • This involves treatment when children are sick
  • Getting immunized against diseases like measles, T.B. tetanus, whooping cough, Diphtheria and Polio

The right to nutrition: A well balanced meal contains

  • Proteins e.g. meat, beans, eggs, fish, milk
  • Carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, cassava, maize meal etc.
  • Vitamins obtained from fruits, green vegetables etc
  • Fats and oils

The right to Shelter

  • A house should be well ventilated
  • A house should be, spacious enough
  • The family should feel secure in the house they are living in

Right to clothing

Clothes should be:

  • Warm
  • Not too tight
  • Decent

2.   The Right Development

Children have the right to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

There are five sub-categories in this area:

  1. Right to education: Education provides knowledge and prepares one in the field of work and to be able to interact effectively with others
  2. Right to play and leisure: They need to be allowed to play and have fun and to have time for relaxation. This would enhance the physical aspect that would enhance education and life in general.
  3. Right to parental care
  4. Right to access to information
  5. Right to social security

3.   The right to protection

 It children’s right to be protected against:

  1. Exploitation e.g. child labor
  2. Drug Abuse ( e.g. tobacco, bang, khat)
  3. Discrimination on the basis of color, status, disability, religion, tradition
  4. Disaster: Examples of Natural Disasters: floods, drought, earthquake, Man made e.g. war, fire, bomb-blast
  5. Abuse and neglect e.g. Physical abuse e.g. canning, smacking, FGM
  6. Emotional abuse e.g. name calling, and abandonment
  7. Loss of identity: all children should have a name
  8. Refugees – they need refugee status
  9. Sexual abuse – e.g. rape, incest, sexual harassment, sodomy, early marriage, and child prostitution

4.   The Right to Participation

The Right to participation sub-categories entails that children are entitled to:

  1. Free association: for example freedom to form ROC club
  2. Thought and opinion: freedom to think and present their opinions like activities they want to engage in ROC club to the school
  3. Contribution: g. songs, poems, during school functions at the community level etc.

Underlying Principles for the Rights and Welfare of the Child

These rights are to be practiced with the following principles:

  • Best interest of the child
  • Non-discrimination
  • Participation, leisure and recreational
  • Survival and development
  • Respect for the views of children

Duties and Responsibilities of the Child Work for the unity of the family Respect his parents and elders National responsibility

Preserve and strengthen cultural values

Rights versus Responsibilities

The African Convention of the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) adapted in July 1990 by the Assembly of African Heads of State and Government recognized Rights and Responsibilities. Every child has Rights and a Responsibility towards others i.e. family, the society and the state, thus all Rights must be accompanied by Responsibilities for effective integration of child Rights in the community. Responsibilities are tasks to be performed e.g. doing homework, respecting parents, washing clothes and so on as demonstrated in the table below.

THE RIGHT TO NUTRITION To eat a balanced diet
To preserve food
To help in the preparation of the food
To clean the house
To wash utensils
THE RIGHT TO SHELTER To clean the house
To open the windows airing
To arrange the house
To repair broken things in the house
THE RIGHT TO MEDICAL CARE Take medicine as instructed by a doctor.
to keep medicine out of reach of children
Visit doctors when appointed
To take medicine when instructed
THE RIGHT TO CLOTHING Take care of our clothes


To keep time
To be disciplined
To work hard in school
Not to miss classes
Complete home works
To attend to school duties
THE RIGHT TO PARENTAL LOVE To love our parents
AND CARE To help parents in home chores
To obey our Parents
Love your siblings
To be disciplined
To appreciate love given to us by parents
THE RIGHT TO PLAY AND LEISURE To play with your friends
To share playing equipments like balls and
To observe time not to use all our free time
on playing and forget other issues
To follow the rules of the games we play
THE RIGHT TO SOCIAL SECURITY To report cases of insecurity
To avoid dangerous places
To avoid bad company
To maintain law and order
To cooperate with security personnel

To ask questions to gain information

To acquire the right information
To share information with others
To use the information appropriately
To know the information that would benefit


THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION Repot those peddling drugs
FROM DRUGS Abstain from any kind of drug abuse
Know the effects of drugs
Take medicine for intended use only
Avoid bad company
FROM EXPLOI TATION Say no to exploitation
Report those exploiting children
Not to exploit others
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION Say no to discrimination
FROM DISCRIMINATION Report those discriminating against others
Treat both boys and girls equally
Tech other on the importance of equality
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION Report any case of abuse or neglect
FROM ABUSE AND NEGLECT Not to abuse or neglect others
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION Avoid dark or lonely roads
FROM SEXUAL ABUSE Report any abuse or threat that could lead to
Clothe ourselves   decently to avoid sending
wrong signals
Say no to early marriages
Don’t accept presents from strangers
Don’t stay in secluded places
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION Care for those affected by disaster
FROM DISASTER Support those affected by disasters
Learn more on disaster management to


ourselves and others
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION To take care of identification documents
FROM LOSS OF IDENTITY Use the names as they are in identification
Not to give others funny nick-names
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION OF To show love and care to refugees


To support refugees by giving foodstuffs


STATUS clothing


THE RIGHT TO THOUGHT AND To respect other peoples thoughts and opinions
OPINION Share our thoughts and opinions with others
Give other people a chance to express their
thoughts and opinions


To use appropriate language when


no foul words
To respect other peoples contributions
To give other people a chance to contribute
To give our honest contributions in all meetings

To associate with others without discrimination

Say no to discrimination

Life Skills and Values Associated with Child Right

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Self esteem
  • Empathy
  • Negotiations
  • Assertiveness
  • Decision-making
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Effective communication


  • Humility
  • Cooperation
  • Respect
  • Tolerance
  • Love
  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Simplicity

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