Children’s rights at the United Nations

Children’s rights at the United Nations

From CRIN

Annual day on the rights of the child

The theme of this year’s annual day on the rights of the child is “Information and communication technology and child sexual exploitation”. The full-day meeting will constitute an important opportunity to discuss different national, regional and international initiatives to empower children through information and communications technologies (ICTs). The meeting will discuss the need for children to be protected against child sexual exploitation online and offline, while ensuring their digital rights are upheld. The annual day will explore:

  • The relationship between ICTs and the rights of the child, including opportunities and challenges to the realisation of these rights;

  • Good practices and lessons learnt aimed at promoting regional and international cooperation on this issue;

  • Strategies to empower children to make better use of the internet, and to contribute to their online protection;

  • Recommendations to guarantee safe and equal access for children to ICTs and to ensure the criminalisation of online child abuse and exploitation.

You can watch the event live and archived on http://webtv.un.org.

Child rights events at the Human Rights Council:

Monday – 07/03/2016

Tuesday – 08/03/2016

Thursday – 10/03/2016

 

Special rapporteur reports at the Human Rights Council

Special procedure mandate-holders are requested by the Human Rights Council to present annual reports in which they describe their activities undertaken during the previous year. The annual reports discuss general issues concerning: working methods, theoretical analysis, general trends and developments with regard to their respective mandates and may contain general recommendations. Reports on country visits are usually presented as addenda to the annual reports.

The following reports will be presented at this year’s Human Rights Council:

  • A/HRC/31/19 – Annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

  • A/HRC/31/20 – Annual report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children.

  • A/HRC/31/29 – Report of the Secretary-General on the impact of the arbitrary deprivation of nationality on the enjoyment of the rights of children concerned, as well as on the existing laws and practices on accessibility for children to acquire nationality, inter alia, of the country in which they are born, if they otherwise would be stateless.

  • A/HRC/31/33 – Follow-up report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on investment in the rights of the child.

  • A/HRC/31/34 – Report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on information and communications technology and child sexual exploitation.

  • A/HRC/31/35 – Study of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of migrants in transit, including unaccompanied children and adolescents, as well as women and girls.

  • A/HRC/31/37 – Annual report on Protection of the family: contribution of the family to the realization of the right to an adequate standard of living for its members, particularly through its role in poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development. Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

  • A/HRC/31/58/Add.2 – Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography on her mission to Armenia.

  • A/HRC/31/80 – Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on technical cooperation and capacity-building to promote and protect the rights of all migrants, including women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities.

An important report:

Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children

In light of this year’s annual day on the rights of the child, and speaking on the occasion of Safer Internet Day last month, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, renewed her call to ensure that the empowerment of children is at the heart of building a safer and more inclusive Internet. She noted that rather than curtailing children’s natural curiosity and sense of innovation, it is critical to tap into their resourcefulness and enhance their capacities to use the internet with confidence and safety.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children and the start of efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including goal 16.2 on ending all forms of violence against children. The annual report of the Special Representative reviews key developments and initiatives she has promoted. This year’s annual report addresses the SDGs, the Global study on the deprivation of liberty, regional processes for the protection of children from violence and a special note of concern drawing attention to the serious impact on children of cyberbullying and challenges to their digital rights.

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Disadvantage at the Starting Gate: Early Childhood Education in Pakistan

Source: Disadvantage at the Starting Gate: Early Childhood Education in Pakistan

By Huma Zia Faran, Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Pakistan.

ASER1The recent upsurge in research on the development of a child’s brain underscores the need for greater attention to early childhood care and education, especially in developing countries. Studies (Cunha et al., 2006, and Heckman et al., 2010) reveal how a child’s brain develops at a surprisingly rapid rate during the early years thereby laying foundations for lifelong development. Early childhood education helps level the playing field for disadvantaged children as they enter primary school, empowering them to be confident and successful in later education and employment.

The recently agreed Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education, that Pakistan has committed to, makes reference to the importance of early childhood education:

Goal 4.2: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education

Being part of such global education commitments and following Article 25-A of Pakistan’s Constitution on the Right to Education, Pakistan included at least one compulsory year of early childhood education in its National Education Policy and developed a National Curriculum for Early Childhood Education (ECE). However, the ECE goals were farfetched. By the end of 2015, ASER Pakistan found that the proportion of children between 3-5 years who were out of school was 61% in rural areas and 42% in urban areas. In rural areas, 51% of early childhood provision is public, compared to 58% in urban areas.

Evidence from ASER shows that Pakistan faces a two-fold challenge – access to early childhood schooling and the long lasting effect it has on the learning abilities of a child.

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In Tanzania, the situation may be seen as similar in that many rural children do not have access to pre-primary education, may not be taught in their mother tongue when they reach primary school and this fact alone starts to explain the low achievement at grade 3 – so the effects are immediate and long lasting. More on this on other blog posts such as here.

Hear It From the Children

Any opportunity to hear children speak about their situation and how it could be improved, is worth listening to…..

Hear It From the Children
Save the Children INTERSOS, World Vision International and CARE

Report
‘Hear It From The Children’ provides a fascinating insight into what children from communities that have been most affected by the South Sudan conflict consider to be their top priorities. A clear message has emerged from the children, and it is that, “…we want to learn – even during war.” It is a simple but powerful message that challenges us all to re-think how we can best respond to children’s needs in times of conflict.

Click here to download the report.
and another opportunity to be aware of young people’s concerns and ‘solutions’…
PODCAST #100 – Brightest Hope
UNICEF

Podcast – International Peace Day: Education provides hope for young people in time of crisis

While conflicts rage, and global crises seem to multiply, one thing remains unchanged – children continue to seek an education.

To highlight the bravery of these inspiring young people, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and UN Global Education First Initiative held an essay competition on education in crisis, receiving more than 700 submissions from around the world. Twelve of these essays were recently published in a booklet entitled: The Brightest Hope.

In the lead up to the International Day of Peace (21 September), UNICEF podcast moderator Mia Lobel spoke with two students and young essayists: Ivy Kimtai, 21, from the Mount Elgon region of Kenya and Jephthah Temona, 19, from Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

KidsRights Index – International launch

It has been over twenty years since the initiation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, with most countries now being signatories, however the scale of abuses against children is still great, some conscious and some unconscious abuses due to lack of knowledge on children’s rights. This new KidsRights Index may at least ‘name and shame’ some countries into taking the CRC and its implementation more seriously.

International Launch of the KidsRights Index
KidsRights FoundationOn 19th November 2013 the KidsRights Index was launched at the Peace Palace, The Hague, the Netherlands. The KidsRights Index is an initiative by the KidsRights Foundation and the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Erasmus School of Economics and International Institute of Social Studies).

The KidsRights Index is the first global ranking on how countries are adhering to children’s rights. The KidsRights Index is concrete, compact, constructive and adaptable. The country-ranking will be published yearly and will be made available to the public through a comprehensive website. New dimensions may be added over time to enrich the index. Country-specific recommendations can be made on the basis of the KidsRights Index.

The KidsRights Index draws on two key available sources of information: firstly, the Concluding Observations adopted by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and secondly, UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children reports. The Concluding Observations complement the available quantitative data by adding information on the key general requirements of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). These requirements are crucial for establishing an adequate formal enabling environment for children’s rights in a country. They extend to the general CRC principles that are prescribed for all implementation efforts (non-discrimination, best interests of the child, respect for the views of the child) and to the structural provision of legislation, budget, data and state-civil society cooperation.

To view the KidsRights Index, please click here.

 

Universal Children’s Day – 2013

November 20 is Universal Children’s Day. It’s also the 24th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

crights

As the most vulnerable age group, children have special global rights and protections, such as the right to live with their parents and protections against harmful or exploitative work. These and many others are recognized by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the most accepted human rights treaty in history.

“We were all children once. And we all share the desire for the well-being of our children, which has always been and will continue to be the most universally cherished aspiration of humankind.”

We the Children: End-decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children -Report of the Secretary-General (2001)

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By resolution 836(IX) of 14 December 1954, the General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children’s Day, to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended that the Day was to be observed also as a day of activity devoted to promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world. The Assembly suggested to governments that the Day be observed on the date and in the way which each considers appropriate. The date 20 November, marks the day on which the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, in 1959, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in 1989.

 

 

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In 2000 world leaders outlined the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Though the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children. UNICEF notes that six of the eight goals relate directly to children and meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.

In 2012, the Secretary-General launched a new initiative Education First. The Initiative aims to raise the political profile of education, strengthen the global movement to achieve quality education and generate additional and sufficient funding through sustained advocacy efforts. Achieving gains in education will have an impact on all the Millennium Development Goals, from lower child and maternal mortality, to better health, higher income and more environmentally-friendly societies.

Some other resources for Universal Children’s Day:

UN Global Issues – Children

CyberSchoolBus

MDG Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

MDG Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health

Voices of Youth

UNICEF and Say Yes for children

UN Study on Violence against Children (UNICEF | OHCHR)

UN Special Session on Children

GA on Children

World Summit for Children

The UN Works for Children

Securing the future – advocating for children (UNAIDS)

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and more on education….

November 18-22 is International Education Week, an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It is designed to significantly increase opportunities for building education-related connections around the globe while supporting cultural awareness and recognition of diversity.

Click here for more information.

 

Focus on Children’s Rights – Blog Action Day

conventionrc

Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors, including their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for food, universal state-paid education, health care and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion,disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate.

Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.

(From Wikipedia)

crights

The United Nations’ 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, or CRC, is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Its implementation is monitored by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. National governments that ratify it commit themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights, and agree to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.

My concern is that no matter how many nations (over 190)  have signed up for the CRC, children are still being beaten, humiliated, abused sexually and verbally, excluded and generally having a bad time, just trying to get some sort of education, no matter how poor the quality and how low their achievement at the end.

Where are their rights and where are the defenders of their rights?

check out the Human Rights Watch page on children’s rights:

http://www.hrw.org/topic/childrens-rights

Photography’s power to advocate for children and their rights:

Watch a presentation that celebrates and reflects on the role of photography in advocating for children’s rights.

For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/.

Please note that in some cases photography can intrude, humiliate and reduce dignity. Children are rarely asked if their pictures can be used for publicity. Things are changing and parents should now provide approval for images of their children to be used. However in emergency situations, this is often difficult. We have to trust UNICEF photographers that they will be sensitive to the rights of children to have privacy and dignity and not to produce images that could humiliate or intrude.

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Take a look at the publications listed by the Child Rights International Network (CRIN)

http://www.crin.org/resources/publications/

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Some child rights  images from Steve McCurry

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A new practical teaching/learning resource via Human Rights Education Association (HREA)

resourceHREA

HREA announces the release of Human Total: A Violence Prevention Learning Resource, a new manual created by HREA, the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Instituto Mexicano de Investigación Familia y de Población (IMIFAP).

“Adolescence is an ideal time to promote attitudes and behaviours that prevent interpersonal violence. Human Total is the first resource to blend life skills with human rights education” says HREA’s Founder and Senior Advisor, Felisa Tibbitts, who helped prepare the pilot draft of the manual.

Human Total will be a vital resource for students, educators and parents. Targeted towards young people between the ages of 10 and 14, the manual helps learners understand attitudes that promote violent behaviour (often brought about by the misuse of alcohol) by males and cultivates methods to minimise these behaviours’ harms and prevent their perpetuation.

Human Total contains 32 adaptable lesson plans, including ways to recognise and understand violence in social contexts and techniques for minimising violence through education about human rights and active participation in the community. The manual also features a note for facilitators on how to use it, tools for outreach to parents and guardians, recommendations for additional resources, and eight annexes with supplemental information. The resource was piloted in El Salvador and Kenya.

Human Total: A Violence Prevention Learning Resource is currently available in English and will soon be available in Spanish.

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AILogo

The UK chapter of Amnesty International has organised a 

Children’s Human Rights network

Are you interested in discussing children’s rights issues with other Amnesty supporters? Would you like to see how the network work on children’s rights abuses? Would you like more information on children’s rights campaigns?

  • Visit the blog, a new forum for discussion on children’s rights and for updates on children’s rights
  • Take action against children’s rights abuses by writing emails, letters and faxes from our actions page.
  • For resources and materials on the latest in children’s rights work from other Amnesty sections and international organisations, please see the resources page.

And a resource for literacy:

Power Of The Pen imageNEW LITERACY RESOURCE: THE POWER OF THE PEN
Engage students in literacy across the curriculum as they discover the power of writing letters for people whose rights and lives are at risk.
Download your free packAnd for Human Rights Education at Secondary level

Everyone EverywhereSECONDARY: FREE HUMAN RIGHTS CROSS-CURRICULUM RESOURCE
Eight human rights lessons linked to curriculum areas including maths, languages, drama and more. Perfect for drop down days, theme weeks, and to address human rights across the curriculum. Order your free copy

Photography’s power to advocate for children and their rights

Watch a presentation that celebrates and reflects on the role of photography in advocating for children’s rights.

For more information, visit: http://www.unicef.org/.

Please note that in some cases photography can intrude, humiliate and reduce dignity. Children are rarely asked if their pictures can be used for publicity. Things are changing and parents should now provide approval for images of their children to be used.

However in emergency situations this is often difficult.

We have to trust UNICEF photographers that they will be sensitive to the rights of children to have privacy and dignity and not to produce images that could humiliate or intrude.