Child Rights and Responsibilities

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Your Troop Scouter or Patrol Leader will discuss your rights and responsibilities with you.

Before you have this discussion you should find out which organisations in your community work with youth and children and what services they provide and list the help line numbers.

Rights and Responsibilities as a child

The list below, although not exhaustive, highlights your rights and responsibilities as a child:

  1. You have the right to be protected from physical, sexual and emotional harm.
  2. You have the right to speak and to be taken seriously and have the responsibility to tell the truth.
  3. You have the right to be treated equally no matter your race, gender, language, level of ability, sexual orientation or religion and have the responsibility to treat others equally.
  4. You have the right to privacy and the responsibility to respect the privacy of others.
  5. You have the right to be protected from alcohol and drugs and have the responsibility not to use or promote substances that will cause harm to the body.
  6. You have the right to proper care and guidance and the responsibility to be the best person that you can be.
  7. You must understand what constitutes an act of physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse and how to report such an incident and the grave consequences of falsifying an incident.
  8. You must understand Your right to say "no" if you are placed in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Child Abuse

What is child abuse

Child abuse can take a variety of forms, although any type of abuse is equally bad and needs to be reported. Some examples include:

  • Verbally abusing a child
  • Touching a child where they don't want to be touched
  • Not cleaning, clothing or feeding a child
  • Not listening to a child
  • Breaking down the self confidence of a child
  • Leaving a child without supervision
  • Exposing a child to pornographic acts or literature
  • Hitting or hurting a child
  • Forcing a child to touch you

Types of child abuse

Physical abuse

Physical abuse of a child is when a parent or caregiver causes any non-accidental physical injury to a child. There are many signs of physical abuse. If you see any of the following signs, please get help right away.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes or involves a child in sexual acts. It also includes when a child who is older or more powerful uses another child for sexual gratification or excitement. This form of abuse may also occur online.

Verbal abuse

Excessive shouting or swearing at or in front of children, threats, attacks on a child's self-esteem.

Emotional abuse

When a parent or caregiver harms a child's mental and social development, or causes severe emotional harm, it is considered emotional abuse. While a single incident may be abuse, most often emotional abuse is a pattern of behaviour that causes damage over time.

Child Neglect

Child neglect is when a parent or caregiver does not give the care, supervision, affection and support needed for a child's health, safety and well-being. Child neglect includes:

  • Physical - failure to provide necessary basic needs of food, shelter or warmth
  • Medical - failure to seek, obtain or follow through with medical care for the child
  • Abandonment - leaving a child young person in any situation without arranging necessary care for them and with no intention of returning
  • Neglectful supervision – failure to provide developmentally appropriate or legally required supervision
  • Refusal to assume parental responsibility - unwillingness or inability to provide appropriate care for a child

Dealing with child abuse

As a child, seek help from a trusted adult, or call Childline: 0800 05 55 55. You may report abuse to any responsible adult, such as your Troop Scouter or Pack Scouter, a teacher, the police, or hospital staff.

See also