Module 3: Module 3 - Children’s rights and health practice

Introduction to Module 3

This is the third module in a course of five modules designed to provide health workers with a comprehensive introduction to children’s rights. While the modules can be studied separately, they are designed to build on each other in order.

Module 1: Childhood and children’s rights

Module 2: Children’s rights and the law

Module 3: Children’s rights and health practice

Module 4: Children's rights in the wider environment: the role of the health worker

Module 5: Children’s rights: planning, monitoring and evaluation

Module 3 provides four crucially important study sessions for health care practitioners in relation to ensuring children’s rights in health care settings. Each of these sessions is designed to take approximately two hours to complete. The sessions provide you with an introduction to these topics and are supported by a range of different activities to help you develop your understanding and knowledge. The activities are usually followed by a discussion of the topic, but in some cases there will be answers at the end of the study session for you to compare your own answer to before continuing. We have provided you with space to write your notes after an activity, however if you wish, you can use a notebook.

  • Study Session 1 stresses the importance of children being actively involved in their own health care. In the session you will explore the implications of listening to children and taking their views seriously. You will also learn about the importance of recognising children’s evolving capacities. By the end of the session you will have a better understanding of why the participation of children is so important and what are the main difficulties and challenges.
  • Study Session 2 will introduce you to two important principles: the right of children not to be discriminated against and the need for adults to think about the best interests of children when they are making decisions on their behalf. It will help you explore the different forms of discrimination and the importance of treating children equally in a health care setting. The session will question how can we act to ensure the best interests of children and prevent discrimination? And how are the best interests of children to be determined and balanced against any other considerations?
  • Study Session 3 is devoted to the topic of violence against children. It looks at how you can support the right of children to be free from violence and abuse. In this study session you will question your own views and attitudes towards violence, recognise the signs of abuse and understand the impact it has on children. By the end of the session you will have explored the important role of health practitioners in identifying and reporting violence against children.
  • Study Session 4 focuses on an issue important to any health worker, which is how to make their practice environment ‘child-friendly’. You will consider what is meant by being child-friendly and the role that standards and charters can have in promoting a positive environment. By the end of the session you will have had the opportunity to reflect on your own health facility and plan how it can be improved to support the rights of children.

1 The child as an active participant