As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Laws and morals govern people as a community. But how exactly can you assure the youth that you can hear and protect their rights and voices as early as infancy? Here are three laws that your kids will be glad to know.
1. Children have the right to identify as LGBTQ+.
LGBTQ+ adults are a discriminated population, but more so areLGBTQ+ kids. Thankfully, some states are taking action. For example, in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper recently passed an executive order. This order aims to protect queer youth from conversion therapy. It is a controversial “treatment” that is supposed to change a person’s gender identity or sexual preference. This executive order also prohibits the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services from including conversion therapy under any healthcare provider. Laws like this also work with efforts to allow LGBTQ+ youth to be productive members of society. Organizations like the HRC provide seminars on youth rights, education, and community building.
2. Every voice matters, no matter how young.
Sometimes, when a custody battle ensues, it can get messy. However, this situation can be avoided. The court not only hears out the sides of the parents but also listens to the third and most important side – the child. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, child custody lawyers and judges decide based on the child’s “best interests.”They take into account the child’s choice, even if they are a minor. The court also looks for some factors such as the minor’s interactions and wishes. It also considers the mental and physical well-being of all parties. With this right, it can value the child’s voice. It can see them as a person who can make a big choice in their life, no matter how young their age may be.
3. Every child has the right to develop in a thriving community
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child is currently the standard in children’s rights worldwide. These rights include the right to basic necessities such as healthcare, education, a stable home, and protection. They also cover the right for children to play, have fun, and engage in recreational activities. This right means that not only should the child survive but also thrive. It is because, for a child, living is more than only waking up and getting chores done.
Four general principles summarize this convention. First, children must not be discriminated in every situation at all times. Second, the best interests of the child must be “a primary consideration” in all decisions from a community level to a governmental one. Next, the child must have access to services for their progress and opportunities to reach their full potential. Finally, their views must be respected in all manners and can never be undermined solely based on their age or background.
From a very young age, kids should know that they are not only cherished but also respected and prioritized by the laws. Hopefully, this knowledge instills in them a confidence that will make them into the upstanding leaders they can be for the next generation.