Children have the right to say what they think should happen to them when adults are making decisions that are going to impact on their lives. This is a right that is guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, passed in 1989.
The rights approved by the United Nations more than twenty-five years ago apply to everyone under the age of eighteen, and they describe what a child needs in order to not just survive, but to grow up and live up to their full potential. Regardless of their age, children have the right to voice their opinion and make it known how they feel and what they want. Children also have the right to a primary education and should be encouraged to reach the highest level of education to which they are capable.
But too often, it seems like children are playing in a game where all the rules are stacked against them. This is true all around the world, even in the United States. Children who are denied a basic education become vulnerable to employers who would exploit them as cheap labor. And this is something that happens over and over again because not enough adults have done something to stop it.
Beth Manville Perkasie PA is a lawyer who is doing whatever she can to advocate for children and advance their rights under the law. She is a native of Perkasie PA who now makes her home in Seattle, where she is in private practice and specializing in children's rights issues.