25 years on, we ask “Do you know them?” If the answer is “No” – Find out! Know the rights of children and be their protector.
You’re here because you believe that children’s rights are not just something written on paper or fairy tales but that we should apply them every day to every child. Childhood is a very special period of life in which all children need love, care and protection, to be happy and to grow up as the best adults they can be.
Here are some more of the rights to which we are all defenders!
The Right to Health. Every child has the right to health – not only physically, but also mentally and socially. This means that every child should be able to go to a doctor at any time, but we as adults give an example of what a healthy lifestyle is. This means that we need to talk with our children about important health matters – from handwashing to sex education.
The Right to a Family. The best environment for any child is their own family. Children should not be separated from their parents unless it is proven that there is a risk to their life, health or development. That a family is poor is not reason enough for them to be separated from their children. Special policies are needed to support families so that they can care for their children in the best way.
The Right to Education. The purpose of education is to achieve functional literacy for all children – that is, not only to learn to read, write and think but also to acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to think critically, make informed choices and be active in efforts to improve their own lives and the lives of others around them. An important prerequisite for this is that children not be kept apart, and so learn separately from other children, just because of their ethnic origin or disability.
The Right to a Dignified Life in a Safe and Secure Environment. For every action we take as adults, we have to take into account what its effects are on children – for example, when we see a child begging, we should not pass by nor offer money, but raher report it as this is a child at risk. Or when pulling down illegal structures, we should be very clearly aware of the effects on the children who live there.
The Right to Protection from Violence. Problems can not be solved through violence and intimidation. Often slapping looks like the only possible way to deal with a situation, but children can be educated and learn to respect boundaries and with love and respect! Fear teaches, yes, but only bad things.
The Right to Freedom of Opinion. Encouraging your child to make choices teaches independence. The exercise of the right to a free opinion is a process in which children learn to form and express their thoughts. If you participate in making decisions on matters of your life as a child, you will know how to do that much better when you grow up. This is also because you will know that decision-making is followed by commitment and responsibility for implementation.
25 years ago, the countries which signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child agreed to ensure that these rights are respected for everyone under the age of 18, regardless of race, religion, ability or family.
National Network for Children marks the 25th anniversary of its signing!
Translator: Morgan James, volunteer