Topic 4: The Principle of Life, Maximum Survival and Development

The Principle of Life, Maximum Survival and Development, as defined in Article 6 of the CRC, states the obligation of the States to provide all appropriate means to children and their families, not just in terms of preparing children for adulthood, but to ensure the best possible conditions at the moment (Hodgkin & Newell, 2007). The concept of ‘optimum holistic development’ is not constrained to the physical development, but also ensures the psychological, mental, spiritual and social development of the child.  The development of the child is also defined in other Articles of the CRC, such as Article 29 (The Aims of Education), Article 27 (Adequate Standard of Living), and Article 31 (The Right to Rest, Play and Leisure). All together describe a holistic development of the child, not restricted either to a cognitive or a social domain. The States must put in place mechanisms to support families in achieving a child’s holistic development. Since Article 29 is related to Article 6, the State is also responsible to create such conditions, in order for children to develop the best of their abilities via formal education. Optimum holistic development of the child is a protective factor for his/her quality of life.