Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Children celebrate the 25th anniversary of UNCRC
By Syed Abdul Baseer, CRG Officer Advocacy & Campaigns.
Child participation is one of the core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which asserts that children and young people have the right to freely express their views and that there is an obligation to hear children’s views and to facilitate their participation in all matters affecting them within the family, schools, local communities, public services, institutions, government policy, and judicial procedures.
To bring focus to this important right to participation in Pakistan, Save the Children has been working with children to help realize their right and ensure there is meaningful child participation. As part of this work, we have organized various events where schoolchildren, teachers and parents have been familiarized with child rights according to the UN CRC. While celebrating the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Save the Children organized an event at Government Girls Primary School Thakot, Battagram district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We brought together parents and teachers from the primary school to acquaint them with child rights. Together with the Parent Teacher Committee, the school, volunteers and the local community, Save the Children organized an orientation session for the school children. The school management proved highly supportive and showed great interest in arranging this educational activity in order to enhance children’s confidence and knowledge.
The event began with orientating the schoolchildren, ages 8 through 12 years, on their Rights as defined by the UN CRC. Then the children undertook to portray these rights through debates, poems, and role playing that they designed themselves. They highlighted their rights to survival, development such as the right to play, protection especially from child labour and underage marriages, and participation. Each presentation displayed children’s clear understanding of all they had been taught during the orientation sessions. The school management also invited local clerics who added the endorsement of child rights given in Islam.
A message clearly conveyed by all the children in each poem and play was of the importance of education in helping children everywhere realize their basic rights as well as breaking the cycle of poverty, and helping solve child protection issues such as child labour and child marriages.
Save the Children aspires to ensure meaningful child participation such as this in all its programming/ projects and the EVERY ONE campaign. 2015 will be the year in which we’ll focus on child participation in our work as well as the work of our development partners.