Author: Bazarnegar Co.
Purpose / Objective
1. Determining the head of household's level of awareness of certain articles in CRC.
2. Understanding the head of household's attitudes toward certain articles in CRC.
3. Understanding the head of household?s practices with regard to certain articles in CRC.
This is a quantitative survey covering all of Iran. 400 households are selected for this study and, in each one, a face-to-face interview is conducted using a pre-structured questionnaire. The sample used for this survey was a national representative sample of 400 households (65% urban and 35% rural). Households were selected in a two-stage process. Stage one, 100 city blocks or rural areas were selected using systematic random sampling. Stage two, 4 households selected in each block or area using the random walk. The questionnaire was designed using the results from the qualitative study done on this subject back in 1999. All the questionnaires are checked for logical consistency and 20% are back-checked for accuracy.
Key Findings and Conclusions
Results indicate that, in many cases, the self-proclaimed perceptions and practices of heads of households' conflict with the CRC articles. Let us look at some specific examples.
The CRC establishes the adult age as 18 years while only 5.5% of respondents accept that. Over 50% of heads of households consider the ages of 9 to 12 as the maturity age. Respondents with educational degrees of high school diploma or above, show a greater tendency to consider individuals of 12 years and under as a child.
33% of respondents think that adults do not have enough awareness on the rights of children while 35% of them think that adults do not adequately practice those rights in their households. However, 88% believe that attempts should be made to make children aware of their own rights. This belief is seen more among the economically disadvantaged groups, perhaps because they see more violation of those rights around them.
Heads of households' familiarity with CRC articles is very limited. 65% have never heard of it, 29.5% have heard of it but don't know much about it. Only 4% know something about it and none have read it carefully. For obvious reasons, there is a positive correlation between this awareness and the respondent's socio-economic status and education.
The highest support (98% to 100%) among the respondents goes to articles regarding the child's rights to have identity, nationality and enjoy health and social welfare. On the other hand, the lowest support (54% to 78%) goes to freedoms of assembly, freedom to be with their age mates and freedom to speak their mind. Therefore, the right of children to have their basic needs met is quite acceptable for families, while on children's freedoms, there seems to be quite an uncertainty. This uncertainty is observed more among the heads of households with lower income or lower educational levels. Therefore, the latter can be a target group for greater educational and promotional activities.
As far as family practices are concerned, 52% to 69% of households do not always adhere to the rights of individual and social freedoms children should have while 57% to 64% claim to always adhere to the rights of children to play, to have fun and to have cultural and artistic activities.
92% of households strongly agree that children should always be protected against abuse by the parents or other adults while only 57% always adhere to that in practice. This is another area that perhaps needs greater attention.
38% of respondents feel that there should be a difference in the way boys and girls are treated when it comes to these rights. In most cases, the boys seem to enjoy an advantage over the girls. This is particularly seen in the area of having the right to be with their age mates. In this case, we find discriminatory sentiments among 84% of respondents, while in the areas of play and leisure, there are 56% cases of discrimination in favor of boys. In the areas of freedom of speech and opinion, such sentiments drop to 17 to 20%. Only in the area of mistreatment, the girls enjoy a higher sentiment of protection.
Lack of knowledge about legal ages is seen more for girls than boys. For the most part, the respondents consider the legal age for work, marriage and financial responsibility to be lower for girls than the boys, while the legal age for voting and criminal responsibility to be the same for both genders. Ages of below 18 are seen to be proper for work for boys by most respondents while similar ages are proper for marriage for girls. 16 to 21% of respondents consider ages below 18 to be proper for criminal responsibility for both sexes while 57% think that ages of 18 and over are proper ages for financial responsibility.
As for different methods of upbringing, the most common practice seems to be advising as a method for encouragement and verbal threat as a punishment. Giving a prize or confining the child are the least common practices. However, between a third to half of the households use physical punishment or neglect as forms of punishment.
Although not too many people admit to using physical punishment and 68% of heads of households consider it as improper, in practice close to 70% of respondents admit to use it in special (major wrongdoings) occasions. 42% admit using physical punishment occasionally. There seems to be a correlation between the use of physical punishment and the rural nature of the household. Also, the head of household's education level is important in this regard. The use of punishment is seen more among individuals with an education level of lower than high school diploma.
Sentiments toward disabled children are very protective and sympathetic but most respondents would not easily accept such a person in their households. 80% think that disabled children should not attend regular schools, but 46% would accept them next to their own children in regular schools. When encountered with a disabled child, 80% would want to help him/her while 82% would allow their own child to play with a disabled child.
Most respondents feel that realizing their potentials and giving them equal treatment should be used for all disabled children. This is seen more among the younger respondents, urban dwellers, and those with higher education. The rural population and less educated groups feel that disabled children should receive help in doing different tasks.
75% of heads of households show some familiarity with the issue of street children and / or have come across them. Their perception of these children is, for the most part, negative, considering them as delinquent, beggar or derelict. But, they consider a proper approach to them as being one of education and reform. 81% of respondents feel that this issue has to be tackled by the government agencies and see no place for their own contribution or participation. Almost no one considers the international organizations as the proper institution to deal with this issue. Lower income and lower educated respondents show a larger acceptance of this issue while positive treatment of street children is suggested more by urban groups with higher education.
More than half of the respondents have negative attitude towards Afghan children and do not want to support them. 53% do not support their education in Iran, while 56% are against supporting Afghan street children. 69% would never allow their children to play with an Afghan child and only 22% to 27% of respondents are in favor of giving citizenship to Afghani children born and raised in Iran. One can see greater negative sentiments among lower income, rural and lower educated respondents.
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