Study Session 3

Question 3.1

Four categories of human needs are:

  1. Physical needs – for example, shelter or health care
  2. Social, economic and cultural needs – for example, stable social and economic environment, access to appropriate guidance and support, access to quality education, play and friendships
  3. Psychological, including intellectual and emotional needs – for example, a stable and loving family environment, a sense of belonging and identity, age appropriate information
  4. Spiritual needs – exploration, understanding and appreciation of the nature of life, humankind and the universe.

Question 3.2

Three examples of how children’s needs differ as they grow up are:

  1. Very young children need protection to ensure they are safe from physical dangers. They need to be watched to make sure they don’t eat things that will harm them, move far away from caring adults, or play with dangerous objects. Although older children still need protection, they will be much more able to assess some risks for themselves and make judgements about what to do to protect themselves.
  2. Children need increasing levels of independence to make their own choices as they grow older – for example, choices about friendships, religion, education, clothes, and how to spend any free time they might have.
  3. Children need access to different types of health services as they grow older. Young children will need immunisations, and health check-ups to make sure they are growing and eating properly. Older children need more health education to provide them with guidance on alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs, HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health services.

Question 3.3

A human right is a moral, ethical or legal entitlement to have something or to do something. Children’s rights include rights to provision, to protection and to participation. All rights have equal importance, and they apply to everyone without any discrimination. Some rights require action by governments – for example, health and education services. Other human rights require that governments recognise individual freedoms – for example freedom to choose your own religion.

Human rights are described as universal, inalienable and indivisible, meaning they apply to every person, they cannot be taken from a person, and they cannot be separated from each other.

Question 3.4

The difference between a need and a right is that a need describes the conditions required for children to thrive. It does not carry any obligation to do anything. By contrast, a right is a recognition of the child’s entitlement to have that need fulfilled. Rights introduce a responsibility on governments and others to take the necessary action to ensure that the right is fulfilled.