Children’s Rights Plan to Take Off Soon

Children’s Rights Plan to Take Off SoonChildren’s Rights Plan to Take Off Soon

A 10-year national plan on children’s rights has been devised by the national authority on the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), and provincial responsibilities will be assigned within six months based on the roadmap of the document.

Secretary of the National Body on the CRC (NBCRC) Mozaffar Alvandi said the rights of children should be upheld, while noting that rights violation is often due to “mismanagement and negligence.”

Addressing the recent meeting at the Women and Family Workgroup of Alborz Province, he said children, (defined by the CRC as any human being under the age of 18, unless under the law of the land applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier) constitute 30% of the Iranian population (almost 28 million). But “the general attitude towards them is dominated by emotions while their affairs have to be considered from a more serious and legal point of view.”

Iran signed the UN Convention the Rights of the Child in September 1991 and ratified it in July 1994.

Upon ratification, the Iranian government set a general reservation which states:

“The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right not to apply any provisions or articles of the Convention that are incompatible with Islamic laws and the international legislation in effect.”

Nations that ratify the Convention are bound to it by international law and compliance is monitored by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which comprises members from countries around the world.

The CRC has been adapted in compatibility with Iranian laws, and the national plan will be implemented by specialized workgroups operating under the national CRC office, Alvandi said.

“Our goal is to help children fully thrive and have the motivation to progress besides ensuring their health, wellbeing and education,” he said, quoted by IRNA.

“The laws under the CRC have been approved by the Majlis and must be observed by all institutions that deal with children.”

There are around 60 Islamic instructions in Iran regarding children but there appears to be lack of progress in putting them into practice.

Children need organizational support as they can’t protect themselves. “A child, who lives on the streets and is deprived of education, certainly needs a helping hand from others.”

The official said inattention to the rights of children is against the objectives of the 20-Year National Vision Plan (2005-2025) which stipulates the provision of health, wellbeing and education for every Iranian.  

On the problems of Alborz Province which hosts a large migrant population, he said his office is looking to resolve them in cooperation with the Women and Family Workgroup of the provincial governorate.

  Challenges of the Youth

The official also met members of several provincial NGOs who are actively involved in issues concerning children and young adults.

It was pointed out by the NGOs that the children and youth face a number of challenges in the province that is situated northwest of Tehran.  Lack of education and risks of social harms to children of negligent parents, mostly drug abusers, are among the challenges to young people, particularly those living in the unofficial settlements.

The province has a population of 2.4 million, with approximately 1.2-1.5 million inhabitants, mostly migrants from all over the country, causing a socio-cultural and economic diversity, says a study. 

Inappropriate behavior towards children by mothers largely due to their lack of awareness about children’s demeanor and the methods of proper upbringing has led to their aggressiveness. Parents’ low level of tolerance and negligence was responsible for 45,000 elementary school children in the country to fail this year. These were among issues discussed at the meeting.   

The NGOs demanded better cooperation from the relevant government authorities in raising awareness about the rights of the child.

Alvandi stressed the importance of exploiting the capacities of the NGOs and the private sector.

“NGOs have been able to take major steps in addressing problems in social harm reduction and to fully exploit their potentials, it is essential to create an association of NGOs,” he said.

In its efforts to protect children nationwide, the NBCRC has prepared a national database with information on all children under the age of 18.

The database contains information such as the name, address, date of birth, parents’ details and access to educational facilities.

Such databases will help facilitate easy and efficient access to information for competent executive bodies to improve child protection.