International Children’s Day is officially celebrated on June 1st each year -however many countries have their own Children’s day at different times of the year to suit their own calendars (see notes below).
Having worked with disadvantaged childen in indigenous communities of the Amazon basin, post conflict communities in Mozambique and Timor Leste, nomadic communities in Chad and ethnic minority communities in Vietnam I realise we still have a lng way to go to ensure the rights of all children as enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 192 nations have now signed up to.
If we look at how children have been used as Child Soldiers in places such Sierra Leone,Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad ,Northern Uganda and now Sri Lanka we can see how chidren are manipulated to please the whims, desires and needs of thoughtless adults. In war, no side really wins, but whichever side children find themselves they are always the losers ,the ones with the least power and which suffer innocently.
Take Action on this International Children’s Day!
Although we can celebrate, for one day, the rights of children that have been hard won,we should also take action from this day onward to ensure that all children no matter where they live have their basic rights ensured.
As UNICEF states: Every one of us has a role to play in ensuring that every child enjoys a childhood. If you are a parent, teacher, social worker or other professional working with children, raise awareness of the Convention on the Rights of the Child among children. If you are a member or employee of an organization working for children’s rights, raise awareness of the Convention and its Optional Protocols, research and document governmental actions and policies and involve communities in promoting and protecting children’s rights. If you are a member of the media, promote knowledge and understanding of children’s rights and provide a forum for children’s participation in society. If you are a parliamentarian, ensure that all existing and new legislation and judicial practice is compatible with your country’s international obligations, monitor governments’ actions, policies and budgets and involve the community—including children—in relevant decision making.
The coalition to stop the use of Child Soldiers asks you to raise awarenes for their Red Hand Day .
Join the Coalition’s group on Facebook to keep up with news and events. The group name is: The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers.
Buy an album of songs about child soldiers
All the profits from the French album, “Enfants Soldats D’ici & D’Ailleurs”, go towards helping child soldiers. 80% goes directly to an organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that rehabilitates former child soldiers and 20% goes to the Coalition. For more details and how to buy the album see www.myspace.com/enfantssoldats.
Buy a football and help the Coalition
The Coalition has entered into an agreement with the Fair Deal Trading Company to produce footballs that incorporate the Coalition’s logo and the message Stop the Use of Child Soldiers. Footballs can be purchased online at www.fairdealtrading.com and for every ball purchased a donation of £2 is made to the Coalition.
Amnesty International campaigns for human rights worldwide and has a number of children’s rights campaigns.
Listen to children and then tell someone else –Listen Charity
Save the Children Fund (SCF) champions the rights of children globally, and campaigns actively for the end of child soldiers.
Listen to the BBC – A world for Children -then tell others.
SIGN UP for the newsletter from CRIN Child Rights Information Network.
Sign the Petition for a CRC Complaints Mechanism
And what about some suggestions from the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood– take action, download CCFC’s 10 Things You Can Do to Reclaim Childhood from Corporate Marketers.
Children’s Day may be celebrated on different days in different countries, such as :
In Argentina, Children’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August and it’s known as Día del Niño.
In India, Children’s Day is celebrated on November 14 every year. This date marks the birth anniversary of independent India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Children’s day is celebrated on this day in recognition of his lifelong fondness and work for children.
Whatever you can do, take action and you can make a real difference.