On the International Children’s Day: All Can Work for Child Welfare
In 1954, the UN General Assembly advised all countries to adopt an international day for children the celebration of which would provide a forum for achieving fraternity and proximity among children of the world, and enhanced child welfare all over the globe. The UN General Assembly did not obligate governments to commemorate this occasion on a specific date, leaving it open to these countries to decide a suitable date for each. This clever precedent provides governments with a suitable opportunity to enhance cultural specificity, which represents a sensitive issue for many countries in the world to the extent that it started to be taken as a pretext for jeopardizing commitment to many of the human right principles especially those related to women and children; equally, it provides an opportunity for countries to choose a date which relates to some achievement in the area of children or child welfare, among others. The 20th of November represents the day in which the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Children’s Rights in 1959 and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1980.
World leaders summarized, in 2000, the millennium development goals which were supposed to be achieved by 2015; despite the fact that MDGs represented goals for humanity at large, yet they were primarily concerned with children in one way or another. Six of these goals are directly related to children, especially the last two, the achievement of which change the lives of children significantly to the better as compared to what it is actually today.
Needless to say that child issues and priorities vary across countries as they may include wars and its aftermath, epidemic diseases, domestic and school violence, inadequate legislation, or exploitation trafficking and kidnaps; equally sources of violations of children’s rights may include the state, family, or society backed up by local cultures and traditions. It here that the role of civil society comes into play as it is responsible for setting work priorities, sensitize on child issues in every society, and identifying effective strategies to address these issues; no external organ can replace domestic actors in this regard.
Violations of children’s rights are on the rise nowadays in as much as wars and conflicts are proliferating and poverty ignorance and disease are spreading widely. It is lamentable that this day comes back again while news channels are still agonizing us with alarming news on miseries facing children all over the world, where the state in Syria and Gaza is not so far away.
Childhood is the most important front, as children represent the future of humanity, where immunizing and protecting children amounts to immunization and protection of humanity at large.
As emphasized by UN experts, it is in this day that the major safeguard to maintain and preserve children’s rights against all forms of abuse, violence, and exploitation lies in the ratification by all countries of the world of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the three optional protocols attached to it, in addition to honoring the commitments dictated by these instruments.
We, in GIHR, call for consolidating endeavors, in this day, to bring to light child issues everywhere. There is still chance for all of us, without exception, to work for children as around anyone of us there is a child or children waiting for something from him/her.