There are things that you don’t want to share with anyone. That’s natural and therefore okay. It’s okay to prefer to do some things alone. Even the best of friends have little secrets that they don’t share with each other.
Likewise, your family doesn’t have to know everything about you either. Because as a child, you have a right to privacy, just like adults. If your parents and siblings are constantly barging into your room, asking you questions and wanting to know everything, you can show them your boundaries.
After all, parents are not allowed to disturb their child’s privacy either.
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Privacy – What Is It?
Everyone needs a very personal space that is nobody’s business. On the one hand, privacy includes a personal space in which one is unobserved. If you want, you can do everything here that would disturb others. This also means that you can close the door to have your peace and quiet. If your room has no door at all, your right to privacy is violated. Your parents must make sure that you have your own place of retreat.
Privacy is not only limited to your room. It also applies to all your personal belongings and, most importantly, your body. You yourself decide about your body. If you feel ashamed to take a shower while your sister is sitting at the toilet in the same room, that’s okay. Because also, as far as that is concerned, everyone has to decide for themselves what they want and what they don’t want.
These Are Your Rights
The right to privacy is not just a moral thing. Because it is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is a declaration in which all the rights are written that apply to all children worldwide. They must be respected by everyone and are binding.
Your room is not a common space.
Your parents are not allowed to search your room. If they want to know what you are doing and if you have a boyfriend (girlfriend), they must ask you directly. Also, if they want to know if you have bought condoms, they are not allowed to look in your room or even rummage around in your box or desk.
Also, regarding your mail, parents must respect their children’s privacy. Your parents are not allowed to open sealed letters addressed to you unless you give them permission. This right is also called secrecy of correspondence. Even if you keep open letters in your room (e.g. in a drawer), your parents are not allowed to read them without your permission.
By the way: Postcards and unsealed letters can be read by everyone, because they are not secret.
Your diary is, of course, also secret. No one is allowed to open it and read it without authorization. Because these little books, to which you can entrust all secrets, are a direct part of your personal privacy.
Therefore, of course, you are not allowed to take photos of entries in the diary. Uploading such photos or videos on the Internet is also prohibited, as is copying text passages from your diary.
Emails and co.
Your parents are not allowed to spy on you. This also applies to your text messages. Furthermore, they are not allowed to check who you have called or who you are writing to. What applies to text messages also applies to e-mails. Normally, email accounts are password protected. If they spy out a password to log into your mail account, that’s actually punishable by law.
By the way, parents are also allowed to go through your entries in social networks and thus investigate you quite specifically. Of course, anyone can read posts that you publish for everyone to see. However, it is taboo for siblings, parents and others to access your account on Facebook, for example.
Privacy at school
Teachers are allowed to do a lot, but not everything. For example, it is taboo for them to search your school bag. Your cell phone is also none of the teacher’s business. They are not allowed to read any of your text messages, just like your parents and siblings.
Therefore, you can calmly ask why you should hand in your cell phone or why the teacher wants to take a look in your school bag. If necessary, you can point out to him that he is not allowed to do so if you do not agree. Please note the exception in the next paragraph.
Exception: Reasonable Suspicion
In special cases, teachers, parents and siblings are allowed to invade your privacy. This is when there is a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime. If they suspect illegal videos on your computer or if you have stolen something, your parents can be curious. They may search your room in your presence, for example.
Show Courage And Defend Your Privacy
If your environment does not follow the rules listed above, then you must defend yourself. Show courage by setting boundaries. By the way, the term courage means courage. Make it clear that protecting your privacy is important to you. Point out to the appropriate people what bothers you. Explain to them what is okay and what is too far for you.
You can do this if your privacy has been violated:
First, talk to your parents about why they don’t trust you. Also address the fact that it bothers you to be spied on. Share your feelings with them and find out why they are so curious.
Most of the time, good compromises can be found if you talk reasonably with each other. You can make agreements, such as
- If someone wants to come into your room, they should knock first.
- You’d better clean up your room yourself before people start rummaging through your things.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the difficult words from the text.
- Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Secrecy of correspondence.
2) In what areas do you have a right to privacy as a child? Write down what you remembered from the text. Possibly include your own experiences.
3) Can a teacher search your school bag or cell phone? Give reasons for your answer. When does the exception apply and what does it mean?
4) What can you do if your privacy is violated?
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