Article 15 intends to ensure that every child has the right to freedom of associating with other children and young adults and assembling peacefully. It implies that children may become part of organizations or groups as long as their participation does not prevent others from enjoying their rights. For instance, they could join groups that deal with sporting activities, interact with their friends in public, or be part of organizations that endeavor to bring social change.
The second part of the article holds that there should be no barriers when executing such rights of the children unless enforced as per the prevailing local, state, or international law (Daly, 2016). For this reason, such enforcement should consider the safeguarding of the health sector of the entire country or standards of conduct or protection of the privileges of others, as well as the regard for the national security and order of the public. Therefore, this paper will provide a vivid discussion of the background to article 15 and elaborate on its appropriateness.
Background to the Article
The significance of the article in safeguarding the rights of children is that it takes into consideration the fact that children have distinct capabilities in their political and social contexts of the lives in the societies they live in and their interactive conduct with others for the intent that may either be political, cultural, social or otherwise (Daly, 2016). Children have the right to grow in an environment with their parents or caregivers who provide emotional and social reinforcement to ensure the proper development of their cognitive abilities. In doing so, they acquire the necessary cognition capability to enhance their decision-making and choose what is suitable in their lives. The young age and unconducive family surrounding may increase the vulnerability of a child to face abuse. Therefore, the article gives them the freedom to join organizations that deal with saving children from abuse or those who advocate for children's rights and empower other children to speak out when in such danger.
Children's experiences revolve around either the social and political realms, such as participating in sporting activities, youth groups, or political demonstrations. Also, the article's provisions have their foundation on the social and legal disability of the children due to the assumption that they cannot make their legal choices until they are eighteen years of age. The right of freedom to participate in associations and assembling as a group offers a channel through which children may raise their concerns on issues affecting them and show their perceptions regarding the same (Daly, 2016). Besides, the article notes that children require protection and should be given a chance to be heard and have their opinion considered as they can bring change despite their vulnerability due to age.
Appropriateness of the Article
Enforcement of the article poses a challenge as most children are not employed and may lack the necessary financial capability required for participation in an association such as a sporting club. Such associations require membership fee payment and other costs that may be postulated by the management to ensure it executes its operations effectively.
Besides, children face life-threatening difficulties such as abuse as their young age increases their vulnerability, which implies less significance to freedom of association and assembly (Ruck et al., 2016). Thus, enforcing the article would be detrimental to the needs of a child. In most cases, children lack the power and capability to come together as a group and advocate for their rights or highlight the life-threatening issues that affect their safety in the society as they do not have the right to vote. In most cases, they fear exposing the perpetrators due to the intimidation imposed on them, especially if the person is a close family member.
Also, most of the formal structures that have the mandate to make the assembly and association usually lack the experience of associations that involve children, for instance, organizations that typically perform political activities (Ruck et al., 2016). There have been no prior organizations implementing the article's provisions, which means that the existing firms lack the relevant precedent.
The rights to freedom of association and assembly should have their applicability in children's private life as it incorporates their interactions and relationships with their families and friends. More so, the article provides children with the opportunity of enhancing their interests on issues vital to them to control their destinies (Daly, 2016). Children are allowed to vote after reaching the age of eighteen years and thus may not bring forth political change.
In conclusion, the provision on rights to freedom of assembly and association of children offers an avenue through which the legal frameworks, both local and national, may pursue to enhance the understanding and valuing of these rights' implications for children. Besides, these provisions have their foundation on the social and legal disability of the children due to the assumption that they cannot make their legal choices until they are eighteen years of age. Democracy requires the inclusion of opinions of all, and it implies that the state parties should take into account the capabilities that children have in bringing change to the communities. However, the United States is yet to ratify the article due to the challenges and difficulties that children face with increased vulnerability of their age, the lack of financial capabilities, and having no right to vote.
Daly, A. (2016, January). 4. Moving Forward with CRC Article 15. In A Commentary on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 15: The Right to Freedom of Association and to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly (pp. 101-106). Brill Nijhoff. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004258839_005
Ruck, M. D., Keating, D. P., Saewyc, E. M., Earls, F., & BenArieh, A. (2016). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: Its Relevance for Adolescents. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26(1), 16-29. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12172
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