The overall human rights apply to children, and they have additional ones that address their special needs (UNICEF, 2022). The Convention on Rights of the Child highlights the rights that a child must be accorded if they are to reach full potential. The Convention, thus, presents the child as a person who belongs to a family and community and has responsibilities to meet based age and development stage (UNICEF, 2022). A child is, therefore, an individual with equal status as the rest of the family members and should be allowed to exercise their rights in the following scenarios:

1. Policy and Practice

The lack of long-term dialogue between children and policy-makers and the fact that children have not attained decision-making positions cause failure in recognition of children’s role in policy (Canosa, Grahan, & Simmons, 2022). However, there is a need to adhere to principles in Article 12 of the UNCRC (United Nations, 2022). Article 12 section 1 expects State Parties to allow a child with ability to form “his or her own views the right to express those views freely” (United Nations, 2022, p.4) then age and maturity can be considered to confirm the relevance of the views.

Additionally, children and youths should be treated as partners on matters regarding protection and care.  Article 12 section 2 indicates that a child should get the chance to express their views if the judicial or administrative proceedings affects “the child, either directly, or through a representative or a appropriate body”(United Nations, 2022, p.4) in ways recognised by the national law procedures.

Under policy and practice, active participation of children in communities results in their wellbeing. Canosa et al (2022) also argued that child-led policy-making procedures is as well a new perspective that could have positive influence in the lives of children.  

Although economists view children as private goods created by parents for their own reasons, children can also be public goods with far-reaching effects culturally and on the overall welfare of human beings . In developed economies, for instance, parenthood is a public good because the returns from cost of raising children are greatly dispersed by redistributive policy and market exchange (Anomaly, 2014). Procreation serves as public good when children exhibit talents in humour, creativity, intelligence, and good health (Anomaly, 2014).

Again, children can become future public good if they will give more money as taxes compared to what they consume in  terms of government service. Even if adults continue to make policies,  the best interest of children should be regarded as a primary concern in all actions and when making decisions about a child, in accordance with article 3 (United Nations, 2022).  

2. Research

Children should be seen as co-researchers as they have competence and can make meaningful contribution to research that focuses on their lives. Moreover, scaffolding can mould the child to participate effectively and in accordance with UNHCR guidelines (Canosa et al., 2022). Children have a right to actively participate in a research and be provided safety.

It is now up to professional to find clearer ways of identifying and respecting children rights while researching together. Denying children the recognition they deserve in research field violates the provisions of UNCRC under Article 24 of UNCRC, which states that children have a right to equal accesses to services and opportunities that contribute to their full development (United Nations, 2022).

In other words, the Article states that children have as much right as adults to  utilise opportunities that will ensure their growth. When children contribute in research, they make their needs known and could go as far as helping the adults to find appropriate solutions if allowed. Identifying and solving issues that children face helps them realise full development.

Besides children have enough information to share during research. As UNICEF (2022) reported, children are affected by the many changes that happen in the society. Events such as family structure transformation, mass migration, digitalisation, and changes in employment patterns affect children. They can, thus, help to research and find solutions to these issues.

The future well-being of the society depends on healthy development of the children. Any conditions poverty, disease, or malnutrition that threaten children’s welfare also impact the future of their society (UNICEF, 2022). If these situations are analysed from the point of view of children and addressed effectively, our societies will have prosperous future. According to Olsaretti (2013), even non-parents have a duty to share in costs of raising children because such children will grow into taxpayers and workforce of the future.

When that time comes, the children will contribute toward the overall good of their parents and non-parents. When parents procreate, therefore, they bring forth positive externalities for all members of the society (Olsaretti, 2013). If that is the case, then non-parents would unfairly benefit from those children if they never shared the costs of rearing them. Researchers have the chance to work with children and contribute to their development, and they should do so.

3. Schools

UNCRC grants children equal rights to develop potential in any given situation. In school context, for example, Article 28 states that education should be provided on basis of “equal opportunity” (United Nations, 2022, p.8). It means that every child must be allowed access to education irrespective of their nationality, race, gender, religion, disability, and other status identified in Article 2.

Application of rights-informed practice in educational settings establish and promote implementation policies that respect children’s attitudes and behaviours. In fact, educators should receive training on implementation of pedagogies that are consistent with children’s rights as the greatest hindrance in acknowledgement of children’s rights is the poor knowledge on how to operationalise them in practice (Canosa et al, 2022).

Majority do not speak about Article 12 of UNCRC, hence few are aware of its scope. While some may not know, the poor recognition of Article 12 breaches requirement of Article 42 which indicates that State Parties should “make principles and provisions of the Convention widely known, by appropriate and active means, to adults and children alike” (United Nations, 2022, p.12).

Pre-service teacher education and professional development programs should, thus, emphasise the children’s rights definition and application in classroom pedagogies and other support interventions that target well-being of the children.In school, child participation is first evident through personalise learning programs and other pedagogical practices that acknowledge learner’s voice, treat students as researchers, and respect their rights (Canosa et al., 2022).

4. As young Activists

There seems to be remarkable progress in recognition of rights of children and acknowledgement of the role they play in matters that directly affect them but there is a need to appreciate the voices of young people (Canosa et al, 2022). As it is, Article 12 gives chance for the “views of the child” (United Nations, 2022, p.4) to be heard. This means that what the child says or the child’s voice must be listened to and respected as long as they are speaking about issues that affect their rights.

No improvements can be made if nobody pays meaningful attention to the opinions of children. Participation of children as defenders of human rights is beneficial hence government and non-governmental organisations should act fast to provide the advice and opinions required to effect the policy.

Government action or inaction has tremendous impact on children, and the effect can be greater than other societal groups. Policies made by the government in areas such as public health and education have influence on the children (UNICEF, 2022). If policy makers fail to account for the negative effect felt by the children, their actions can negatively impact the entire society in the longer term.  

There is a need, therefore, to listen to and consider the views of children when making political decisions. Although children do not vote or play an active role in political process, they often express their opinions at home or school or the local community. The government and relevant bodies should invest in collecting the rarely considered views of children to understand and solve their issues.