Equal Opportunities

Topics: Human rights, Childhood, Law Pages: 7 (2061 words) Published: May 16, 2010
In this essay I am going to explain the term ” equal opportunities” in relation to early years practice. Explore this in the context of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and explain the impact the Convention on UK legislation. I am also going to suggest some steps which in my consideration can implement equality of opportunity for children in UK.

Equal opportunity is a descriptive term for an approach intended to give equal access to a certain social environment or to ensure people are not specifically excluded from participating in activities such as education, employment or health care on the basis of immutable traits. The lack of access might cause poor self-esteem, respect, misunderstandings, stereotyping and discrimination. (Bruce and Meggit, 2002) Also it means opening up the universe for the child and family so that they can take full benefit of the early childhood activities in school and in society. Equal opportunity does not mean treating everyone the same. The Common areas of discrimination are race, financial capability, gender and the ability of the child. Every child's future depends on opportunities provided to it in his early years of life which usually defines the child's outlook towards life. This will be the window through which the child will define race, gender, nationality, religion, family set-up, special needs and sexual orientation of parents in his or her own way. The teacher and parents will play the most vital role in the child's early years of development and they will be providing all the vital elements of this process to build the child's future. Teachers and parents have to make sure that he is in the right environment for this development to take place. To help them, the UN has played a major role and contributed immensely to this process. The UN general assembly agreed to adopt the conventions on the rights of the child on November 20th, 1989. It came into force in September 1990 after it was ratified by 192 member nations. The convention is child centric and deals with child specific needs and right to education and care. It also looks after the best interest of the child. Articles 2,3,6,7,8,11,12,13,23,28,29,30,31,32,34,35 are related specifically to the early years in respect to education and care. These articles of the policy state that the member nations will respect the rights set forth in the present convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind. (Convention on the rights of the child, 1990)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child applies in the UK since ratification in December 1991, when the government agreed to make all laws, policy and practice compatible with the UN Convention. (http://www.unicef.org)

"Every child has certain basic rights, including the right to life, his/her own name and identity, and to be raised by his/her parents within a family or cultural grouping and have a relationship with both parents, even if they are separated." (www.wikipedia.org)

The principals outlined in the international human rights framework apply to both children and adults. I am doing to concentrate on children which are mentioned especially in many of the human rights. Standards are specially modified or adapted where the need and concerns surrounding are distinct for children.(http://www.child-abuse.com)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes and promotes this great link between children’s rights and responsibilities. The aims of education...

Bibliography: Bruce, .T and Meggitt, C. (2002) Child Care and Education, Hodder and Stoughton, London
www.unicef.org UNICEF (Undated) Convention on Rights of the Child, 1990, http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/pdf/crc.pdf
Kandola, R. and Fullerton, J. (1998), The equal opportunity handbook
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