Although children are not granted full legal rights as those of an adult, they still have their own rights. These rights may change from one state to another but they are still existent. Upon birth, a child gains some inherent rights legally and these continue growing by the day. Therefore, before you act contrary to these rights, you need to understand what are the legal rights of children?
The first one is the right to grow up in a safe environment. This means that you should not expose your child to potentially dangerous environments. If the government for any reason believes that your child is not safe, they will be taken away from you. Children also have a right to obtain good nutrition as well as an education. Health care is a legal right for any child and this should not be denied for any reason.
With regards to the government, the child has a right to obtain legal protection. If a child commits a crime, due process needs to be followed by the authorities. Therefore a notice must be given and a subsequent hearing occurs before the child is stripped off any of their basic rights. A child has a right to express themselves and form an opinion on different issues. However, this right is of a limited nature and can be restricted by a person in authority. It is also good to note that a right to freely express oneself is acquired as one grows up and understands the differences between right and wrong.
Labor laws dictate that a teenager may work for a salary. However, the age at which he or she can begin doing this differs across states. Care should be taken when asking children to work as this may amount to child labor depending in the age of the child and the laws of the state. A child of a specific age may also get emancipated from their parents. This however is subjective since the judge has to determine whether the child has the ability to make decisions that will benefit them, whether the child has a meaningful source of income to cater for their needs and many other factors.
There are other many more rights that a child has depending on their age. As a parent or guardian, it is essential to understand these in order to avoid a contravention that may get you in trouble. It is your duty to protect the child and ensure their rights are practiced if need be.
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