The UN Convention on Rights of the Child is meant to create equality and allow all children their right to be safe and protected, to live, and to grow.
Unfortunately, these rights are constantly being violated. Teagan’s Batstone’s rights were violated time and time again, by her biological mother and also by how the Canadian judicial system is currently set up.
Article 6, states that all children have the right to live. Teagan’s biological Mother clearly violated this right (when she killed her), but this article also states that it is the government’s job to safeguard children, making sure they are surviving and developing. The government unfortunately also failed in this regard, as Teagan was required to go back into an unstable environment.
Article 9, states children can live with parents unless it is an unacceptable place for a child. Having a mother who was battling mental health issues (such as trying to kill herself) is considered an acceptable environment for a child?
Teagan had a healthy, safe, loving home environment she could have gone to (and had been in while she was in the custody of her father), but the judicial system we have was making it impossible to allow that. Teagan had to go back to her mother while Gabe and Stephanie Batstone fought for her safety.
Article 12, children have the right to their opinion and the right for adults to listen and believe in the validity of their expressions. If children are educated more thoroughly at a younger age about their rights, maybe Teagan would have felt she could push for her opinion to be heard? Her voice was not heard, nobody had actually consulted her on her living situation, even though the case was pertaining to her wellbeing.
Article 19, children have the right to protection from all forms of violence, whether it is physically or mentally. The Bastone’s tried to protect Teagan from this kind of maltreatment, but the judicial system once again allowed a violation of this right to occur.
Article 27, children have a right to a standard of living that will meet their needs: physically and mentally. An adequate standard of living was not being met in Teagan’s case, if the government helps in ways like welfare and unemployment pay, then why can’t they ensure a parent is capable of remaining as primary caregiver – of their child – in a timely manner?
These are a few of Teagan’s rights that were violated and with her death, her right to education and play were also taken away (Article 29 (Goals of education), Article 31, (Leisure, play and culture)).
This blog post shows that 7/54 of Teagan’s rights were violated, approximately 13%. That may not seem like a large percentage – even though it is, as no rights should ever be violated -, but the fact that her right to live was one of those rights pushes that percentage to a breaking point. A human’s right to life cannot be measured as a percentage, ratio or anything else for that matter. A human life is unquantifiable. A human life just is. All humans have a right to life. With this right violated, all other rights are insignificant because there would not be a need. With the absence of life, we have nothing.
This is why our rights are so important. They allow our lives to be filled with immeasurable love, growth and equality, and this is why it is so important to teach rights at a young age and adhere to these rights in every aspect of our lives. All children (all humans) have a right to their lives and to their rights. Allowing them to live the best possible life they can and create a future where everyone’s rights are understood, followed and equally respected.
– Kaitlyn Sage