Module 3: A Rights Based Approach to Addressing Violence

Learning Objectives

1. To describe the implications of a child rights based approach to protection of children from violence and harm

2. To apply a rights based approach to:

  1. Individual practice
  2. The system or working environment such as clinic or hospital
  3. The wider public policy which impacts on violence against children

Introduction

As you will now understand, children have a right to protection from all forms of violence. In this module we will look at the implications of those rights for the day to day practice of the health professional, at the three levels we introduced in the previous module. Firstly, recognition of children’s rights requires a closer look at the relationships that health professionals have with individual children and the need to create a culture in which children feel safe, respected and able to communicate meaningfully about what has happened to them. Second, it requires multi- disciplinary and properly implemented procedures to ensure that health care systems are designed to ensure both the optimum protection of children and respect for their rights within those systems. Finally, it requires a broader assessment of the underlying causes of violence and harm to children and a commitment to engaging in advocacy to create more systemic change – whether that involves, for example, legal reform, improved policies, better services, changes in attitudes, or additional funding.