Effects of Fundamental Right of Childhood

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Many individuals wander for miles on their feet around the world to beg for money or food and try at their minimum best to fulfill their basic needs. The unfulfillment of needs leads to the destruction of the development from occurring in both inner and outer bodies of the individual. In order for survival, humans need nutritious food, quality education, clean and safe water, appropriate housing as well as suitable healthcare, all of which contribute to the overall health and well-being of a person. A large population of human beings are children who are affected globally by poverty. Marian Wright Edelman, who is the founder and the president of the Children’s Defense Fund once said, “Just because a child’s parents are poor or uneducated is no reason to deprive the child of basic human rights to health care, education and proper nutrition” (Project, 2019). Furthermore, UNICEF Canada has mentioned, “ Regardless of gender, race, geography or circumstance, every child should have the right to grow up with a bright future. But for many around the world, the question is not what they will be when they grow up, but if they will grow up at all” (Roberts, Casap, & Heinrichs, 2018). According to World Bank Group and UNICEF, approximately 385 million children around the world are confronted with severe poverty (The World Bank, 2016). Globally, the health of children is a survival game of the fittest. A broad range of aspects [known as the social determinants of health (SDOH)] deteriorates child health, which include factors such as income, food insecurity, chronic stress, social behaviour and organ development can possibly lead to long-term problems and death.

The income scale determines the availability of resources and is essential for the healthy development of children. When children have a lot of opportunities to fulfill their needs, they will be able to live healthy lives. In contrast, children, who are living in homeless conditions and do not have stable housing, have lives at risk due to the access of limited resources (Gupta, Wit, & McKeown, 2007). The number of infant mortalities increased by sixty-six percent in low-income families in comparison to high-income families. Childhood conditions and negative consequences in health such as asthma, obesity, learning ability and mental health problems are increasing in low-income families (Gupta, Wit, & McKeown, 2007; Conroy, Sandel, & Zuckerman, 2010). These health conditions are becoming more and more common in the Canadian population due to lack of infrastructure and healthcare services, reduced breastfeeding children who are underweight at birth and polluted air. In addition, children in extreme poverty are not as academically strong when assessed through vocabulary and math assessments, which demonstrates a low degree of cognitive and psychosocial development. At a young age, the children who experience poor socio-economic conditions are more prone to having poor adult health in diverse spectrums such as premature births, states of depression and physical disabilities (Gupta, Wit, & McKeown, 2007). Approximately 4.2 million young children are exposed to poverty which remain as the prominent factor in moulding their adulthood (Duncan, Ziol-Guest, & Kalil, 2010). Clearly, children who undergo disadvantaged lives are faced with many hidden obstacles in their latter part of their life course that strays them from winning the survival battle.

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Moreover, chronic stress and memory capacity changes with time throughout people’s lives with struggles that people face through different stages of life. When families are on the low- income family scale with children at nine years old, the problems in the ventrolateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex lead and at the age of twenty-four, prevents the function of the amygdala (Kim, et al., 2013). In a study conducted with adults who lived through poverty, the individuals demonstrated low short-term memory capacity because the hippocampus is in charge of the memory capacity. The hippocampus displays sensitivity to chronic stress and the individuals that demonstrated difficulties in resolving the puzzles during the assessments are due to the cognitive development that is affected to prior exposure (Evans, 2016). Therefore, stress is a factor that has powerful outcomes and can trigger other health problems, which may reduce cognitive ability as well as shorten life expectancy.

In continuation, children suffer from malnutrition due to the lack of their socio-economic status. In a recent study conducted in United States amongst children in kindergarten to grade eight, the children displayed a twenty percent malnutrition rate in 2010 (Ryu & Bartfeld, 2012). The growth of children is dependent on the food that the individual consumes. For example, in the recent study conducted by Hoddinott (2012), children in the same household each had a different nutritional status even though they had access to the same limited number of resources. The priority towards the food differs within families depending on each child’s situation (Development, 2014). Children are vulnerable to food insecurity when they are between one and three years old due to children no longer obtaining their nutrition from breastfeeding. Between the ages of one and three children require their essential nutrients from their daily food intake in order to reach the height and weight that correlates with age. When children are poorly fed, their bodies tend to lean towards a weaker immune system. If the child does not get what it requires in the step of life, there is no possible way to regain the lost growth (Development, 2014). Malnutrition is more prevalent in households where there are children in comparison to no children homes. The research findings showed that there is a need for programs and services in order to guard the children from malnutrition (Slopen, Fitzmaurice, Williams, & Gilman, 2010). Parents are unable to provide their children with essential dietary requirements due to financial resources. For example, chicken is more expensive at the grocery store and the parent cannot purchase the chicken since they do not have enough money. However, the human body is dependent on the protein intake in order for some bodily processes to occur (Clutterbuck, Mitchell, & Kitchen, 1991). Therefore, children need to meet their essentials in nutrition requirements in order for their growth and development of organs to not be disrupted.

When individuals do not have enough money to obtain what they want or need, they move towards violent ways to gain what they want or need. Bullying occurs in all schools and public places. Other children target a special child to blackmail so they can possess either money or food. Individuals who have been bullied tend to face health problems and are not able to speak about it due to increased fear, which hinders their social behaviour. The children who are victims of bullying are more likely to be the ones that do not have any friends or people who would not defend or help them. Bullied children have low self-esteem, are unable to comprehend social hints, and are prone to react faster towards problems. Eventually, those children undergo psychiatric disorders and drug addictions due to the repeated confrontation with bullies. (Wolke, Copeland, Angold, & Costello, 2013). Therefore, bullies and victims of being bullied are prone to be diagnosed with severe illnesses and faced with slow speed in the healing process.

In conclusion, poverty is the prominent cause to many social determinants of health. Stress, malnutrition, delayed organ development, loss of social interactions and income are disrupting aspects that determines the severity of health laybacks in adulthood and social position in the poverty pyramid. An individual’s income is the soul to one’s nourishment and it is dependent on employability and other potential ways of possessing money. Someone can be on the street if they do not have money and in most parts of the world, the children beg for resources that we take for granted. Stress can be provoked from struggles faced in the beginning of life and memory capacity is at reduced levels due to narrow concentration levels. Bullying deteriorates the mental and physical states of one’s being. Food insecurity is becoming one of the major concerns with a growing population in the world. Organ development and growth are essential steps that need to be processed at the required points in life because there is no way to catch up once the individual has passed it. An Anonymous once said, what you sow today is what you will harvest tomorrow. Therefore, what a child sees and experiences today is what will shape the child’s adulthood tomorrow.

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Effects of Fundamental Right of Childhood. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/effects-of-fundamental-right-of-childhood/
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