Children explain their rights …
… and we show you what we do to guarantee them
November 20 marks the day of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 54 articles, 42 child rights and 29 years later, Terre des hommes (Tdh) asks school children: What are your rights and why are they important? What would you do to improve the lives of children all around the world?
The right to be treated when sick
“People shouldn’t be dying from diseases that could easily be cured,” explains 12-year-old Olivia. Still too many children around the world are suffering from preventable diseases, and too many lose their lives during and after birth. Overcoming these challenges requires working in collaboration with local actors and governments and giving special attention to regions that have been neglected. This means facilitating access to healthcare for every person and training health personnel to perform quality services which save the lives of the most vulnerable children.
In 2017, Terre des hommes provided healthcare to 1.2 million children. In Mali, for example, we train midwives and health workers in rural areas to make sustainable improvements in the quality of care provided at birth. Thanks to this Balzan-Prize-supported project, which will be extended to further areas, almost 200 babies’ lives could be saved in one year.
The right to education
“Education is important because, when you are older and you want to have a profession, you need to know how to do it or what to do,” says Trenton, 12 years old. Education is the basis for children’s development and preparation for adult life. Still too many children lack access to this right, be it due to poverty, discrimination, crisis or displacement. Efforts need to be undertaken to guarantee an inclusive education system for all children.
As an example, in 2017 Terre des hommes improved access to education for 5000 migrant children in Albania and Kosovo. Migrating children who return to their home country face considerable challenges reintegrating in the existing education system, because they missed school during the time of migration. Thanks Tdh’s after-school activities in these two countries, they can make up for the missed classes, allowing them to reintegrate into the regular education system.
The right to play, laugh and dream
Without the right to play, “I wouldn’t be a child,” says André, 13 years old. One in six children around the world is unable to attend school, has had their home or neighbourhood destroyed, are wounded, experienced or witnessed atrocities, or have lost a loved one. Due to war, conflict or natural catastrophes, children are displaced, live in refugee camps - most of the time they forget how it is to have a childhood. In our child-friendly spaces we give them back the possibility to play, laugh and dream.
In 2017, Terre des hommes came to the aid of more than one million children and their families who were victims of humanitarian crises. In our child friendly spaces in the middle of overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh, Terre des hommes protects Rohingya children, helps them overcome traumatic experiences and gives them back their childhood. “Child friendly spaces are essential for children in crisis. It gives them a chance to recover. It’s nice to see how different the energy is here and how happy the children are,” explains Nicola Griffiths, Child Protection Coordinator in Bangladesh.
Watch more videos about child rights:
- The right to be treated equally
- The right to a safe shelter
- The right to be protected from violence
- The right to have enough to eat