Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states addressed child rights privacy,

“No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour or reputation.”

This makes sense, right? We are entitled all entitled to privacy, even children.

But, what does that privacy mean?

I will tell you what privacy means to me. Privacy means that I can go about my daily life, doing my normal activities, without drawing undue public attention. It means that I do not worry about someone taking my photo and then, without my permission, enlarging it to super-human size, placing it on a billboard, and using it to advertise shampoo or cheeseburgers. It means that I do not consider that someone will change her name to mine and go about recklessly using my credit card. It means I do not open my doors to complete strangers and allow them to trifle through my belongings, and it means that I do not worry about them busting through those doors without my opening them. It means that I get to determine when, how and to what extent information about me is provided to the public.

Do violations of privacy happen? Absolutely. However, I think most people would agree that they are violations and are wrong.

Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”

If we truly desire to live this in our daily lives that means we must protect the privacy and dignity of those we are working to serve. So, practically, what does that mean? Here are a few suggestions on how to protect children’s rights, privacy, and dignity.

1.     Photos, videos, or stories of children should never be published in a public forum without the informed consent of the children and their parents/guardians.

2.     Photos, videos, or stories of children should always be presented in a way that is dignifying.

3.     Children should be allowed to grow up in a family with little interference from outside sources. Children should never be treated as a tourist attraction or be placed on display like animals in a zoo.

4.     Always consider how you would want your own child to be treated and respected when working with other children. If it would not be acceptable for your child, it is not an acceptable way to treat other children, regardless of the children’s ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, or other factors.

5.     It is always better to err on the side of caution and protection. If there is any question about whether something is appropriate or a violation of children’s rights, it is best to avoid a potential violation, as it may not be possible to reverse your actions.