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Children’s Rights in India: Parents’ and Teachers’ Attitudes, Knowledge and Perceptions

In: The International Journal of Children's Rights
Authors: Sibnath Deb1 and Ben Mathews2
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  • 1 Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India, sibnath23@gmail.com
  • | 2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, b.mathews@qut.edu.au
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Individuals’ attitudes influence their behaviour towards children, including whether children’s rights and welfare are promoted. The attitudes generally present in a society shape a culture of how children are perceived and treated. This study explored the attitudes and knowledge of 300 Indian parents and teachers regarding children’s rights, and their perceptions about whether selected rights were secured in reality. Findings revealed that most parents and teachers had positive attitudes about children’s rights, including rights to health and education, and freedom from child marriage and inappropriate work. Yet, about one quarter of participants did not think children should have the rights to freedom of expression and association. Knowledge of laws promoting children’s rights was poor. Most parents and teachers perceived a denial of seven key rights in Indian children’s lived experience. Overall, findings suggest a need to heighten awareness of children’s rights and needs, which can improve attitudes towards the treatment of children. Efforts to heighten awareness and attitudes towards children’s rights are needed across society and in key sectors to enhance children’s lived experience.

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