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Be Aware of the Different Social Perspectives

Different Social Perspectives

Many of the problems regarding international children rights stem from the fact that cultures around the world possess different beliefs, traditions, and values, and they all maintain various perceptions of children. Because of this, various international child abuse issues arise.

One of the common international child abuse issues involves deep-rooted cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation. Despite the fact that many countries have established legislation that prohibits female genital mutilation, it is widely ignored and many cultures continue to practice this extremely painful procedure.

Female genital mutilation is commonly practiced throughout parts of Africa, including in Mali, Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Uganda. This procedure refers to the removal of a girl's external genitalia, either partially or completely. This traditional practice is usually performed on young girls, and many cultures regard it as the day that a girl becomes a woman. The child that is experiencing this mutilation is not given any type of medication to decrease the agony and many of the girls pass out during the procedure because of the extreme pain it causes.

Female genital mutilation is a violation of female children rights not only because of the torment that a girl experiences during this procedure, but also because of the risk of death and illness that follows this procedure. After a female circumcision, the girls who have been subjected to this procedure are usually not provided with access to medical treatment, and instead are required to use traditional healing methods, such as the application of cow urine to the wound.

Many girls who are subjected to genital mutilation bleed to death during or after the procedure. The girls who do survive have a high risk of developing tetanus and severe infections. Female circumcision can cause many complications if the girl goes on to experience child birth.

Another one of the important global child abuse issues is child labor. Most Western cultures have established laws to protect the exploitation of children and to ensure that their health is not hindered due to hazardous work or excessive and frequent work. However, not all countries have developed laws that prohibit children from working long and arduous hours.

Many cultures in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Asian Pacific region, believe that children should be required to work. Around the world, over two million children between the ages of five and seventeen are required to take part in child labor, and more then half of these children are forced to work in hazardous and harmful conditions.

Many children are required to take part in agricultural work, and in many countries, a girl who was born to a poor family will be required to work as a servant for a wealthy family. Requiring a child to work long hours or in hazardous conditions encroaches upon their children’s rights to freedom, education, and health.

Another of the common child abuse issues is child marriage. Many cultures around the world require girls to marry at a very young age. This practice is common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and also occurs in North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. These marriages are often arranged and the child has no desire to marry and no choice in the marriage.

Many times young girls are married to much older men, and in many countries, such as Zimbabwe, families are using young girls for economic gain by demanding an extremely large bride-price for their daughters. Situations such as these violate children’s rights to health, happiness, freedom, and protection by placing these girls in a situation in which they will often be subjected to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse.

All of these various practices are extremely detrimental to a child's physical, emotional, and psychological development. New methods must be developed in order to confront these child abuse issues and expand children rights.

NEXT: International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993

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