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Rights, Responsibilities

and Respect

The Convention on the Rights of the Child A guide for children and adolescents


Published: November 2004 Reprint August 2013

National Committee for Families and Children2 62 Cleghorn Street, Belize City, Belize Tel.: (501) 223-0059 / 1180 Fax: (501) 223-1229 Email: ncfc@btl.net Web: www.ncfc.org.bz

UNICEF BELIZE

One Coney Drive, Gordon House, 3rd Floor, P.O. Box 2672 Belize City, Belize Tel.: (501) 223-3864 / 3609 / 7294 Fax: (501) 223-3891 www.unicef.org/belize dbzchild.org

Adopted from “United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child In Child Friendly Language (Giraffe Talk)” and UNICEF’s “Know Your Rights! Children’s Rights in Plain English.


Children and Adolescents of Belize, do you know your rights? It is important that you learn about your rights and responsibilities! WHY? So that you can: ƒƒ Know your rights and respect the rights of others ƒƒ Know what the responsibilities are that go along with each right ƒƒ Be sure that others do not take advantage of you ©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

The convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) tells everyone what children’s rights are all about and why no one can take them away from you. Everyone under 18 years old has these rights! You have the right to know your rights. Adults should know about these rights and help you learn about them too!

Let’s learn about your RIGHTS!

You have these rights, whoever you are, whoever your parents are, whatever colour you are, whatever religion you practice, whatever language you speak, whether you are a girl or boy, whether you have a disability or if you are rich or poor. All adults should do what is best for you. When adults make decisions, they should think about how their decision will affect you. You have many rights and these rights come under four groups: 1. Developmental Rights 2. Participation Rights 3. Survival Rights 4. Protection Rights 1


Survival Rights are your rights to life and the basic things you need in order to stay healthy. Your family should help you to learn about your rights and ensure that your rights are protected. You have the right to a nationality, and to belong to a country. ©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

You have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means that your parents should make sure you have food, clothes, a place to live, be protected from harm and participate in decisions that affect you. If your parents cannot afford this, then the government should help.

You have the right to live with your parent(s), unless it is harmful to you. You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.

Some of the responsibilities that come along with your survival rights are: ƒƒ You have a responsibility to practice a healthy lifestyle; for example, you should get enough sleep at night and try not eat a lot of junk food. ƒƒ You should do your best to take care of your clothes, toys, school books and other possessions. ƒƒ Be respectful of your parents/guardians or other adults who take care of you. ƒƒ Be careful when you are out on the street. Try to practice all the safety rules that you know. ƒƒ Do your best to respect and take care of all living things like the forest, the animals and the sea. ƒƒ Remember your parent’s/guardian’s advice when they tell you not to do something or not to go somewhere. It might not be safe. ƒƒ Be proud of your family, where they come from, your colour and race, the special foods that you eat, the songs that you sing and the language you speak. ƒƒ You should appreciate the things that your parents can afford to give you. ƒƒ Appreciate and love yourself because you are a special person.

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You have the right to be alive. If you live in a different country from your parents, you have the right to be reunited. You have the right to a name and identity– an official record of who you are, like a birth certificate or passport. No one should take this away from you.

Both parents should be involved in raising you, even if they do not live together. They should do what is best for you. If you have to be adopted, adults should make sure that it is arranged in a way that is best for you.

You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food and a safe clean environment and, information to help you stay well. You have the right to special care and help if you cannot live with your parents.

3 ©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare ©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare


You have the right to protection from any kind of exploitation, which means being taken advantage of.

©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

Protection rights include your rights to be safe from all people and situations that can hurt you. You have the right to privacy. Others should respect and protect your privacy. You should not be kidnapped, and if you are, the government should do their best to get you back. If you have been hurt or neglected in any way, you have the right to special care and treatment.

You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse. This means that nobody can do anything to your body that makes you feel uncomfortable. This also means that nobody should be allowed to touch your private parts or take naked pictures of you or have you look at pictures of naked people, or even make you say things that you don’t want to say. If you are refugee (meaning you have to leave your own country because it is not safe for you to live there) you have the right to special protection and help.

Some of the responsibilities that come along with your participation rights are: ƒƒ If you are being hurt or abused, you should talk to an adult who can help you. ƒƒ Be sure to tell the truth, even if you feel afraid. ƒƒ Do your best to learn about the laws of the country in which you live. ƒƒ You should not use drugs. If it is being offered to you, move away from where it is located and talk to an adult who can help you to get more information about it. ƒƒ If you are in foster care, you should speak truthfully about the type of care you are receiving. 4

ƒƒ You should respect the privacy of others.


These rights help to make sure that no one takes advantage of you. If you live in foster care or in other situations away from home, you have the right to have these living arrangements looked at regularly to see if it is the best place for you. You have the right to be protected from the use of illegal and harmful drugs, and from the business of making and selling drugs.

No one should hurt you in any way. Adults should make sure that you are protected from abuse, violence and neglect. Even your parents have no right to hurt you. You have the right to protection in times of war. If you are under 15 years, you should never have to be in the army or take part in war. In Belize, you can’t be a soldier until you are 18 years.

Even if you do something wrong, no one is allowed to punish you in a way that humiliates you or hurts you badly. You should never be put in prison except as a last resort. If you have to be in prison, you have the right to special care and visits from your family.

If you have a disability, either mental or physical, you have the right to special care and education to help you grow up in the same way as other children.

5 ŠUNICEF Belize/2012/FCuellar


Developmental Rights include those things that you need to learn about others. These rights will help you to grow to be the best person you can be.

©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

You have the right to a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school up to the highest level that you can. You have the right to play and rest.

Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people. You have the right to protection from work that harms you and is bad for your health or keeps you from attending school. If you are old enough to work, according to the Laws of Belize, you have the right to be safe and to be paid fairly.

Some of the responsibilities that come along with your developmental rights are: ƒƒ Do your homework, study and listen to your teacher. Pay attention in class and try not to disrupt, for example, talking out of turn, playing in class, or walking around. Be sure to tell the truth, even if you feel afraid. ƒƒ Be sure to do your chores because it is important that you also help around the house. ƒƒ Show kindness and respect when playing or doing work with others. ƒƒ Ask for help when you are afraid or have problems. ƒƒ Try to follow all your school rules and the laws of Belize.

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Participation Rights allow you to take part in community activities and express yourself freely, but also in a respectful way. You have the right to practice your own religion and beliefs. Your parents should help you decide what is best for you. You have the right to find out things and to say what you think through speaking, writing, art, and other ways, unless it goes against the rights of others. You have the right to give your opinion and for adults to take it seriously. You have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to you or others.

You have the right to get information that is important to your well-being from radio, newspaper, books, computers, and other sources. Adults should make sure that the information you are getting is not harmful and help you find and understand the information you need. You have the right to defend yourself if you have been accused of committing a crime. The police and lawyers and judges in court should treat you fairly and make sure you understand what is going on.

©UNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

If you come from a minority group, you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practice your own religion and use your own language.

Some of the responsibilities that come along with your developmental rights are: ƒƒ You should state your opinion and speak up, but do so in a respectful way. ƒƒ You have a responsibility to choose friends and join groups that will have a positive effect on you. ƒƒ You should listen to what your parents have to say and respect their opinion. ƒƒ You should try to learn about the different cultures and religions and respect other people’s culture and religion as well. ƒƒ You have the responsibility to read only those books, watch only those TV programmes, play only those video games and visit only those websites that will have a positive effect on you. ƒƒ You should try to find other ways of solving disagreements other than through violence.

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These are your rights and no one should take them from you. Your parents and other adults in your life should help you to understand what these rights mean.

Children and Adolescents of Belize, now that you know your rights and responsibilities, you must put them into practice. You must also do your best to remember that rights come with responsibilities. ŠUNICEF Belize/2012/ADHoare

Rights, Responsibilities and Respect. They go hand in hand! 8


For more information, please contact:

National Committee for Families and Children 62 Cleghorn Street, Belize City, Belize Tel.: (501) 223-0059 / 1180 Fax: (501) 223-1229 Email: ncfc@btl.net Web: www.ncfc.org.bz www.facebook.com/ncfcbelize Vimeo: NCFCBZE www.youtube.com/TheNCFC www.twitter.com/NCFCBZE

One Coney Drive, Gordon House, 3rd Floor, P.O. Box 2672, Belize City, Belize Tel.: (501) 223-3864 / 3609 / 7294 Fax: (501) 223-3891 www.unicef.org/belize dbzchild.org http://on.fb.me/ZrBH0R www.twitter.com/unicefbelize

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