Rights of the Child

Every child starts off with a spark in their eye. But for those children brought up in homes seriously affected by drug abuse, that spark can quickly fade as they witness the chaotic lifestyles of their parents.


As Christmas fast approaches and we look forward to spending time with our families and loved ones, its important that we spare a thought for these children.


Tragically these kids have learnt that they will always lose out and that they will always come second to their parents addiction.


The recent case reported in the Greenock Telegraph whereby a heroin addict was jailed for allowing his two young children to live in a squalid house strewn with syringes shows the challenge these children face.


Just last week, in another case south of the border in Wolverhampton, a couple were charged with causing the death of a child after giving it heroin.


Such examples show the importance of having systems in place to ensure that we can get these children out of the drug fuelled environment in which they are sometimes forced to live.


The inquiry currently being conducted by the Scottish Parliament’s Education Committee which is looking into the decision making processes involved in determining whether a child should be removed from the family home and taken into care, may allow us to do just that.


Some will say that we have to respect the rights of the parents and that the authorities have no right to intervene.


But in this whole process we must not lose sight of the rights of the child to be given the chance for a better life and to be able to enjoy the next Christmas when it comes around.


Sadly, there will be times when the authorities decide that if they can’t get drugs out of the home, then they will have to take the child out of the home.