3.1 Introduction

In Study Session 2 of this module, you will have learned about child development, and the stages that all children go through from the time of their birth to the time they reach adulthood. Children have needs that change over time, with age, maturity and experience. All societies recognise that children require nurturing and protection from harm in order to develop and grow as healthy people who are capable of reaching their full potential. Parents or guardians have the responsibility to ensure that children are adequately taken care of and enabled to thrive.

In this study session, we will look firstly at the needs that children have if they are to grow up healthily. It will focus both on those needs that are common to all children, and also how the fulfilment of those needs differs depending on a child’s age and other circumstances. We will also discuss how human rights, and children’s rights in particular, provide the basis for ensuring that these needs are met.

3 Children’s needs and rights

3.2 Learning outcomes