Universal Children’s day 2018

Back to the Roots

For any building to stand tall, its foundation must be well constructed, equal in quality and measures. The same applies for communities as well. In order to build a strong, resilient and harmonious community, children should be the starting point. 29 years ago today, the Convention on the Rights of Children was adopted with the aim of meeting children’s basic needs and providing a suitable environment for them to reach their potential.

A child is any person below the age of 18, that’s about 30% of the world population (around 2.25 billion). Every child is born with a sacred set of rights, that are guaranteed whatever their race, religion or abilities; whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from. Among these rights is the right to education.

Education represents an essential process to equip children with skills, develop their abilities and build their unique personalities so that they can grow to become an effective part of their communities contributing to its stability and cohesion. Children, by nature, like to explore their surroundings figuring out the world they live in, however, at some point this exploring process should be regulated to achieve maximum productivity, and here comes the role of schools.

The right to education is fundamental rights for individuals to be able to reach their potentials. However, nearly 263 million children, adolescents and youth are deprived of this right. There are many reasons a huge number of children have no access to primary education including extreme poverty, armed conflict, limited resources, poor infrastructure, natural disasters. Stereotypes and social norms also play an important role in increasing vulnerabilities as children with disabilities, refugees, members of religious, ethnic or linguistic minorities, or as young girls. Gender inequality and favoriting boys, makes young girls particularly vulnerable to be prevented from getting their education. Various forms of gender-based violence, child labour in addition to cultural factors represents a stumbling block in the way of young girls to get into schools. If you’re organizing any event, activity or project tackling the issue of Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence, or if you’re interested in knowing more, you can reach out to Nupoor (Gender-Based Violence Program Coordinator) through ​[email protected]​ .

School is one of the most influential institutions in children’s lives, second to family and home as the foundation on which they build their futures. School, should be a place where children feel free to unleash their imagination and express themselves.It should be a place where children feel safe as they are, without having to hide any aspect of their personality and without feeling ashamed for any reason. Schools should teach children to embrace their diversity.

​As we commemorate Universal Children’s Day, we have to remember that the 20th of November also marks International Trans Remembrance Day. LGBTI and especially trans children can be particularly vulnerable to targeted acts of violence by their peers. These include bullying, exclusion from using necessary facility, disregard of their identity, dignity and life. How to fight these violations is by education in schools and within the family.

Children are an especially vulnerable group to violence. #Violence in schools can have serious long-term consequences on children’s lives, their futures, and the future of the communities where they live. For millions of students around the world, the school environment is not a safe space to study and grow. It is a danger zone where they learn in fear.
Violence is driven by a complex set of factors that cannot be attributed to one culture or society. These factors are found in the social structures that shape laws, policies, behaviours and beliefs about gender, power and authority. Violence comes in different forms, it might be verbal, physical or even electronic. And child abuse is one of many types of violence that disregard the will and dignity of the child.
When we discuss children’s rights, we always talk about them as a group with special needs and protection, however, we must also remember that children are individuals with the growing ability to understand, think, express and create. We must defend the rights of the children by enabling them to raise their voice for the issues that matters to them. We need to ensure that every child gets their needs fulfilled in order for them to grow as the unique individuals they are.

Changing the world is a thousand miles journey, and the first step is to go back to the roots, to protect and promote children’s rights and to empower them to be future change makers. Together, let us build a world fit for children, where they are in school and learning, safe from harm and able to fulfill their potential, because “in serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests of all humanity”.
Are you excited to start the change, to BE the change?

Well, to start with, sign the petition below and #GoBlue with UNICEF to call on world leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child and acknowledge that these rights are non-negotiable.

In hope of a better world for every child… for everyone.

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