Universal Children’s Day

On November 20, 1954, the UN General Assembly came up with the idea of celebration of an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day. This day is celebrated in different parts of the world on the rights , protection , wellbeing and welfare of the children, it also helps to aware us with world’s cruelty towards children and emphasizes on the need to fix the challenges by finding best solutions. Details can be checked here. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been signed or endorsed by highest number of countries.
Throughout the world many organizations are trying to protect the rights of children. Islam i-e; a religion of peace has spoken on the topic years ago. During the time of ignorance people use to kill their kids because of different reasons. Islam has highlighted this issue and Allah commanded not to follow such footsteps.
Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” (Quran 6:151)
 
Above verse from Quran shows that Islam has given rights to children centuries ago.
The celebration has become more important this year as we have all seen that the Nobel Peace Prize
has been awarded to a young Pakistani Girl Malala Yousafzai; fighting for girls’ right to education in rural areas of Pakistan along with Kailash Satyarthi who is fighting for Indian children rights. Unfortunately, many children are deprived of basic rights in these two developing countries of the world. Malala and Kailash are fighting with courage and are standing against all odds for basic human rights of children.
“The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard. “– Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
While on this topic I am confused from where I should start as there is a lot of misery for children in my world. Many children die during birth as of lack or no facility in hospitals. According to a report 618 newborn babies die in Pakistan daily. Many are dying of malnutrition every day. They die before reaching age of 5 as of lack of health facilities. Some get affected by many deadly and life threatening diseases and some become victim of polio. Some who grow older are privileged if can go to school but many children are denied of schooling because of majority living below poverty line.
When we think about children first thing that comes to our mind is their care free nature, their desire to have fun but many children in Pakistan are deprived of their innocence and even childhood  when they are forced into child labor for survival. Many child workers have to live under armed guard.
 I feel very sad when I come across children; covered with black grease who come out of vehicles and other workshops, when I see them begging on roads. Many beggar families even bend or break hands or legs of their children to make them (sadly) an object of their income. As when people see such children in misery all they can do is, help them with money. Condition of children is deteriorating in my country due to increased rate of poverty, corruption etc.
These are many conflicts going on in different parts of the world like Syria, Palestine, Kashmir and unfortunately many children are affected directly by these conflicts. This war seems to have no end and the misery of children is increasing with every passing day. Children are included in armed conflicts in different parts of the World. While reading about this topic I came across UN campaign “Children, Not Soldiers”. This campaign is trying to end the recruitment and the exploitation of children by different armed forces.
Nelson Mandela once said about children, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
 

I feel that many children have very difficult childhood. Violation of their rights starts from home and continue into schools where they are threatened, abused and beaten by parents and teachers respectively. Violence against children is harsh reality . Many children run from homes and schools due to this constant abuse. They have no protection from government or society. Ultimately reach to drugs or such gangs who use them for crimes like robberies, many become pocket picker, some smuggle drugs, some reach workshops, hotels and restaurants, others reach to extremes of violation and humiliation of their rights as are trained by militant groups for suicide bombing. Many end up in jails because of different crimes and with company of professional criminals in jail finally come out as a trained criminal and also get new contacts with different mafia groups in jails.
Children are like flowers who need to blossom, they are our future we have to protect them , guide them and tomorrow they are the ones who will take the responsibility to complete all those tasks that we left incomplete.
On this day we must strive in our daily lives to not only protect our children but also all children around us. We must stand for the well being of children. We come across many children who are working everywhere. We can join hands to combat the child labor in many developing countries of the world. We can help them to educate them, give them gift of books and spare some moments of your life and help them to learn. We must ensure access of children to justice. Many organizations with UN and UNICEF are promoting  children’s rights worldwide.
Almost 25 years ago, the world promised the children: to protect them and their rights, to let them
grow, learn, play , have fun, educate and to hear them and reach them and let them get to their potential.  Apart from many efforts, still many children have fallen even further behind. Many new serious issues like; child labor,  abuse, trafficking, prostitution and child pornography have actually deprived many children of their rights and pushed them away from development. It is need of time that youth and adults come together to find new ways of thinking, helping & doing.
On this day we must also celebrate; decrease in the rate of infant mortality, increase in the rate of
 enrollment in schools. This historic day also serve as an critical reminder that much is left to be done as many children still do not enjoy their rights. United Nation is striving to aware  children around the globe about the challenges that they are facing so young child does not suffer anymore.
Ban Ki-moon UN Secretary General stood for the education of every child in 2012. UN is trying with the help of many of it’s bodies and organizations that every child attends school by 2015. Pakistan is also in alliance with the aim of UN and is trying that every Pakistani child also attend school. Pakistani establishment is also trying to provide free education to children by providing them with books and uniforms etc.
Media must come forward to; educated people worldwide about rights of children and spread the need of immunizations and breastfeeding. I feel we must also join hands to promote international togetherness and spread the awareness about child rights and protect children from any abuse and harm. Child of today can be a hero of tomorrow, its or utmost responsibility to protect them.
On this day many organizations and schools arrange different programs involving children and parents to aware them about cause and different seminars,  walks are arranged to aware people about the plight of those children who are deprived of basic rights.
We must observe this day worldwide to stand for; protecting children and  promoting the objectives of the UN Charter for the welfare of the children.
Children make an important part of this world. We must stand and fight for equality and respect of our children. We must give them right to proper look after, food, shelter, security, education , love, they must have voice and be heard and also the right to play.  They must not be harassed in any way. Give them right to laughter, help them to learn, and give them freedom of expression and choice. We must make sure that our kids are safe as they are our future. They are fun loving give them right to play and laugh that says it all. We must stand to give them a better future so the peace and happiness continue to accompany their lives in future.
No matter if their voices are small but they have big dreams.
 
You can enjoy another youtube video about rights of children here.  We must help them grow and hope for a better future. Value your children. Celebrate each day to promote love, friendship and understanding amongst children.
Now it’s your Turn; What do you think how this day can be celebrated to educate more people and children about the rights?
 
Images used from
 UNICEF page  
Google and twitter. 

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