Non-discrimination

6 principles / PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE Programme

Understanding the principle

Human rights apply equally to every child. Article 2 of the CRC places a clear obligation on governments to respect and ensure all rights to all children without discrimination on any grounds. Discrimination can be defined as ‘any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference which is based on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status, and which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons, on an equal footing, of all rights and freedoms’.

Discrimination can take place directly or indirectly. It can occur at all levels of society and can be practised by governments themselves, by adults against children, by one community against another or one group of children against another. Discrimination can arise from active, direct and deliberate actions, or take place unconsciously through insensitivity, ignorance or indifference.

Why to emphasize non-discrimination

Rights are realized equally for all children. There is a very wide range of children who are vulnerable for discrimination, such as not registered at birth, children affected by HIV/AIDS, minorities, children in institutions, children on the street, children with disabilities, etc. Discrimination can have a devastating impact on children’s lives resulting in the denial of many rights. It can render children invisible, and result in low self confidence and self esteem, as well negatively influencing their personal development. A pro-active work towards overcoming these inequities is of high importance.

Targeting the most marginalized

Most marginalized children suffer mostly of violation and are in the greatest need to be supported. Programmes to address discrimination have to be designed specifically trough focus on research and analysis, direct support, capacity building, advocacy and awareness raising.

More on principle: Principle 3 Non-discrimination

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