Childism the 1989 Convention Research Paper

Pages: 9 (3165 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Children

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[. . .] This can have something to do with money, but for the most part this type of inequality is not related to whether students are rich or poor. It has to do with whether many children see another child as weak or an easy target. Being different can also contribute to this inequality, even if the difference is a good one (Momsen, 2004; Shapiro, 2004).

Children that are very smart, for example, are often bullied and treated poorly by other children. The same is true for children who are very shy or children who are highly artistic or well-liked by their teachers. Anything that causes a child to stand out can be a reason for mistreatment and inequality, and many of the reason that children are bullied are reasons over which they have no control (Shapiro, 2004). These children try to get help in most cases, but the adults in their immediate vicinity do not always help them or make them feel better. Sometimes, bullying takes place in such a way that reporting it to adults only makes the bullied child a "tattletale" and makes things more difficult for that child. There are ways to help stop inequality in children, but they are not all effective all the time, and they do not work for every situation and every child (Shapiro, 2004). Because there is social inequality in society, that will always extend to children.

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Economic inequality is not seen in children specifically as much as social inequality, because the majority of children are on relatively equal economic footing based on what they, personally, have. However, their parents are a different story, and that can easily translate to how the children are viewed (Page & Jacobs, 2009). In other words, the children of wealthy parents have more, do more, and are treated differently than the children of parents who have very little money. The way the children dress and what they bring to school in the form of supplies can differ greatly based on economic class, as can what the children have for lunch and whether they are on free or reduced lunch programs. Even teachers and other adults sometimes treat underprivileged or poor children differently (and not as well) as children who come from families where there is a lot of money. While this should not be the case, it often is and there is no reason to think it will be changing in the near future.

When it comes to the treatment of children based on the financial abilities and offerings of their parents, it is easy to see that there can be problems between children who have much and children who have little (Salverda, Nolan, & Smeeding, 2009). It is also easy to see that society overall is not as kind to people who do not have much money. It is no different for children than it is for adults, because both groups struggle if there is little money to be offered for the things they want and need (Salverda, Nolan, & Smeeding, 2009). Some children are even homeless, and they sleep in shelters or in cars and still go to school each day. When that is the case, other children (and even adults) can judge them harshly for something they cannot help or control. Overall, it is a difficult thing for a child to go through and the child may have a hard time understanding why he or she is treated differently - especially if the child is very young at the time.

What Can be Done About Childism in the United States?

Can something be done about childism in the United States? Is there hope for equality among children? The odds are against this, unfortunately. The reason behind this is not specifically targeted to children, however, because the problem is a societal issue. Equality is not something that comes easily to any society. There will always be "haves" and "have nots." This is a normal part of life, and a normal part of the way people actually treat one another. It has been seen throughout society and throughout all different areas of the world, as long as historical events and information has been recorded. As much as some societies try to be equal, and as much as they make rules and laws to ensure that people are treated fairly, there are still areas of life where fair treatment (or the lack of fair treatment) is a problem. Adults struggle with this, but they have the power to make laws and affect change.

When children struggle with the inequality and childism issues, there is little they can do because they do not have the power to make any kind of changes to their surroundings. They are not old enough to vote, run for office, or do anything else that would allow them to make a difference in their society in a positive way through legal channels. That must certainly be frustrating for children, and it is something on which they will remain stuck until they reach adulthood and are better able to do more to correct any problems that they see in society. Without large numbers of people working for change, though, even adults will not be able to make changes that will be lasting. In short, childism will be in the United States in the future because there are not enough adults who are attempting to change it. They may not even realize its importance or see it as an issue, and until they are made aware of the seriousness of the concern, nothing will change.

Current and Future Plans to Combat Childism

In the U.S. And across the world, there are currently no specific plans to combat childism. The UN clearly saw it as a problem in 1989 when it held its Convention (Child, 2008). Because so many countries ratified the Convention, it could be assumed that childism was nearly wiped out and that all children were given rights and treated equally. However, that is not really the case. There is still a large degree of childism even in well-developed countries such as the United States. Until the U.S. decides that the UN is not trying to control its domestic policy, it will not ratify the Convention (Child, 2008). Without that ratification, there is no reason to believe that childism will be removed from society. Even with ratification, there will still be concerns about the rights that children have. One thing that the U.S. is doing, however, is encouraging children who are being mistreated and bullied by other children because they are not perceived as equal or "good enough" to speak out.

Children are killing themselves over the intense levels of bullying that some of them experience, and working to stop bullying in schools is one of the ways that the U.S. can combat childism. There are many anti-bullying policies and just about every school says that this kind o inequality treatment will not be tolerated. Still, the problems persist. It is clear that future plans for eliminating childism should include stronger policies against bullying, because children in the U.S. should not have to be afraid to go to school. Sometimes these children are beaten up physically, but for the most part they are beaten up mentally and emotionally. Those scars can be carried far longer, and sometimes they never really heal. In order to stop childism, bullying and unequal treatment must stop. That starts with adults, and the laws they decide to make in order to protect children.

Conclusion

Conclusions can be drawn about childism, but often those conclusions are incorrect and people fail to understand the seriousness of the issue or how it should actually be addressed and handled. Childism is not a relatively common term, and some may not even know what it means. Further education of the American people on this subject is an important way to make sure that children are treated properly and that adults understand the kinds of problems that children are facing and what can be done about it. No one is suggesting that children should have all the same rights as adults and should be treated like adults. They are more focused on the idea that children have the right to a good life and proper treatment. They have the right to not be abused, and the right to an education. Those are the kinds of rights that are important to children and should be important to adults in taking care of those children, but too often they are swept under the rug and not handled correctly.

When children are being mistreated, whether it is by adults or by other children, there are some laws and regulations that prevent this but there are not enough of those laws and they do not always cover every eventuality. Until more laws are made and there is a deeper understanding of what kinds of rights are needed for children, there will still be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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