The right to life and optimum development

This Article stresses the right of every child to life, survival and development. It means that governments must ensure that health services are designed to protect the lives of children. But it goes further than this. Governments must also try to create an environment in which children’s development can flourish. It means that the lives of all children must be equally protected, irrespective of disability, gender, ethnicity or any other factors.

This does not always happen. For example, in a recent consultation with young people in Tanzania for this course, they described examples of albino children who were thought to be affected by a curse and injected with overdoses of drugs so that they would die.

Look at the picture below. What does this child require for optimum survival?

The best interests of the child

The right to be heard and taken seriously