UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY fell on the 20th November this year.
It is a fun day with a serious message.
It is an opportunity to promote & celebrate children’s rights.
It is a reminder to us, as adults, of the 4 basic rights of children, and our responsibility to see these rights upheld.
1. Survival : the Right to Live, the Right to have equal access to the basic services (food, education, healthcare)
2. Development : The Right to Education, regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, in order to develop to their full potential.
3. Protection : The best interests of the child should be taken into consideration when deciding on their wellbeing.
4. Participation : The Voice of the Child must be heard and respected in matters concerning their Rights.
We commemorated the day, albeit a little earlier on the 16th, by bringing together some 26 children from a rural community for a fun day of activity on the beach. Together with their teachers they went through a series of sharing sessions, learning activities and games which taught them about teamwork, unity, and respect for others. We also got to know the community better and the challenges faced.
We must bear in mind that children have the same general human rights as adults, and that their special needs must be recognized too. We must give them the basic fundamental right of human dignity. They are individual and contributing members of our community. A basic quality of life should be enjoyed by all children, irrespective of colour of skin, social status, religion, or gender.
Let us not just celebrate children on one day. Let us continue to support them, recognize their contributions and protect their welfare and human rights.