The Role of Society and the State in Supporting and Protecting the Sights of Children The Role of Society and the State in Supporting and Protecting the Sights of Children

The Role of Society and the State in Supporting and Protecting the Sights of Children

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Parental care is the main foundation for providing protection for children and enabling them to enjoy the rights guaranteed by Islam. Nevertheless, society and state institutions have a role in this regard that is no less important. For all children to enjoy their rights without discrimination, it is a prerequisite that the state constitution should unequivocally state that children have rights to a name, an identity, property and inheritance, sponsorship in a family, health care and education.

 

Of no less importance is a legislature’s responsibility to pass laws guaranteeing the protection of children from exploitation in harsh or dangerous jobs, or in activities that may render them liable before the law, or that may constitute physical or moral humiliation for them. It would be immaterial whether such exploitation is carried out by the family, or those working in child care institutions such as schools or welfare houses, or other individuals. It is in this light that we understand the saying of the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him: “Each of you is a shepherd, and each of you is accountable for his or her flock.” The Prophet also said: “Allah will (on the Day of Reckoning) question each person in a position of responsibility about what he (or she) was responsible for (in this life).”

 

Parliamentary endorsement and ratification of international conventions, treaties and agreements pertaining to the rights of children is also of great importance, as is state adherence to the articles of these agreements, provided this does not contravene the correct understanding of Islamic Sharia.

 

These measures are necessary for the preservation of the rights of children and for protecting them within the state itself. They are also essential to coordinating cooperation between states in combating internationally organized crimes that violate the rights of children and endanger their lives, and in retrieving children who might be sold or smuggled across borders, or who are forced to flee a certain country and seek refuge in another because of armed conflicts and natural disasters. Measures should be taken in order to provide such children with the necessary care while preparations are made for their repatriation and unification with their families.

 

The state’s executive institutions should shoulder their responsibility to provide services guaranteeing that all children enjoy their basic rights without discrimination, whether on the basis of race, gender, religion, economic or social status, or health conditions. These institutions should draw up plans to guarantee the rights of children, and include these plans in the state’s overall scheme. They should also generate the resources necessary to implement the plans, which should be given the priority they deserve.

 

The state’s responsibility to provide for and protect children’s rights does not contradict nor replace the responsibility of the society to guarantee and protect these rights. Elucidating the rights of children in Islam and the stance of Islamic Sharia vis-à-vis the duties of parents to fulfil these rights, and warning parents against violating them or denying them to their children, is one of the main tasks of Islamic scholars. Of paramount importance too is the role of civil society institutions in observing and monitoring the state’s attention to securing the rights of children. In cooperation with mass media, these institutions have the responsibility to contribute to educating families and urging the state to adopt children’s causes.

 

They also play an important role in monitoring and reporting any incidents of child abuse, maltreatment or violence, or discrimination or exploitation. In addition, the payment of obligatory zakat (alms) and charitable donations by members and foundations within the society secures substantial amounts of money to fund projects in education, health, social welfare for destitute children, orphans and poor families.


…AND DO NOT THROW YOURSELVES INTO DESTRUCTION [BY NOT

SPENDING YOURWEALTH IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH], AND DO GOOD.

TRUL, ALLAH LOVES AL-MUHSINUN [THE GOOD-DOERS]. (AL BAQARA, THE COW, VERSE 195)

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