The “Calm down” viral video of a Nigeria brilliant Oreofeoluwa Lawal-babalola, who was seen pleading with his mother last week has a lot to enlighten everyone about the Child Rights especially for states in Nigeria who do not still believe the child deserves rights and states who have passed the Child Rights Law but are still dilly darling with it.
From the overwhelming acceptance of the boy’s freedom of speech, boldness in the face of adversity to negotiate with his mother that the flogging should not be hurtful and eventually wanted to know if she was videoing him, showed the truth that Child Rights should be a natural law to work with by every stakeholder for a better life for the future leaders.
The acceptability showed that every discipline must be in the interest of the child seeing that they are vulnerable and cannot always control their behavior. Sure that was why God put them in charge of the parents and guardian to show them examples of good behavior.
Though the mother did not eventually flog him or wiped him according to the mother, whether true or false, the boy still exercised his rights naturally without knowing what he was doing, was his right as a child.
Note that Ooreofe was not rude in the process. Even in the face of what he dreaded most, being flogged, he was still using “please” and was making his mother to know it was not intentional and promised not to repeat such behaviour again.
The lesson here is that children may have rights but they must not forget that their parents have responsibility on them to bring the best out of them, though not to be exerting strict punishment on them.
Punishment does not bring out the best result in children but discipline rather. An abused and maltreated child will see differently from other children trained in the right way and shown better ways to handle life. This does not mean children cannot be stubborn, but there are better ways to train them as opposed to inhuman treatments.
No one is advocating for an indiscipline child. The country needs children that will uphold Africa values through the right communication channels. Recognizing everyone’s rights is vital for a world full of freedom, justice, and peace.
The Child Rights as specified in the Convention on the Rights of the child also specified the responsibilities of the child especially to respect the rights of others particularly their parents in Article 29.
United Nations educational guides for children classify the rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of a Child as the “3Ps” which are: Provision, Protection, and Participation.
PROVISION: children have the right to an adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, and services, to play and for recreation. These include a balanced diet, a warm bed to sleep on, and access to schooling.
PROTECTION: children have the right to protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and discrimination. This includes the right to safe places for children to play; constructive child-rearing behaviour, and acknowledgment of the evolving capacities of children.
PARTICIPATION: children have the right to participate in communities and have programs and services for themselves. This includes children’s involvement in libraries and community programs, youth voice activities and involving children as decision-makers