The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

RISE (St. Lu­cia) Inc. rec­og­nizes the rights of chil­dren and young peo­ple to sur­vive and thrive dur­ing In­ter­na­tional Child Rights Week - Novem­ber 13th to 20th - and beyond.

Novem­ber 13th to 20th is rec­og­nized an­nu­ally around the world as In­ter­na­tional Child Rights Week - a week dur­ing which the world cel­e­brates the rights of chil­dren as out­lined in the United Na­tions Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) and a week which leads up to Univer­sal Chil­dren’s Day on Novem­ber 20th. This is the day on which the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly adopted the Dec­la­ra­tion of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and the UN CRC in 1989. The UN Gen­eral Assem­bly rec­om­mended that all coun­tries ob­serve Novem­ber 20th an­nu­ally as a day of ac­tiv­ity de­voted to pro­mot­ing the wel­fare of chil­dren around the world.

Dur­ing that week, RISE will be shar­ing in­for­ma­tion with the gen­eral pub­lic and school stu­dents on child rights in gen­eral, and specif­i­cally on child abuse and its preven­tion on Novem­ber 19th, rec­og­nized in­ter­na­tion­ally within that week as Child Abuse preven­tion day. RISE will also be join­ing the In­ter­na­tional Men’s Day fair at the RCI car park from 9am to 1pm on Novem­ber 19th.

Ac­cord­ing to RISE “Rights" are things ev­ery child should have, or be able to do, to sur­vive and thrive. All chil­dren ev­ery­where have the same rights. Th­ese rights are listed in the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child, a land­mark hu­man rights treaty, agreed to and signed by all but two coun­tries (So­ma­lia and USA). All the rights are equally im­por­tant and in­ter­con­nected and are en­shrined in 54 ar­ti­cles.

Ar­ti­cle 1 be­gins by say­ing that ev­ery­one un­der 18 has th­ese rights. Ar­ti­cle 3 states that “all adults should do what is best for you. When adults make de­ci­sions, they should think about how their de­ci­sions will af­fect chil­dren.” In ar­ti­cle 4 the re­spon­si­bil­ity rests on gov­ern­ment to en­sure that chil­dren’s rights are pro­tected while ar­ti­cle 5 states that the fam­ily has the re­spon­si­bil­ity to help chil­dren learn to ex­er­cise their rights and en­sure that they are pro­tected.

Un­der the UN Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child ev­ery child has the right to be alive, the right to a name and na­tion­al­ity, a right to an iden­tity, the right to an opin­ion, the right to play and rest, to prac­tise their own cul­ture, lan­guage and re­li­gion, to be free from sex­ual abuse and be­ing kid­napped, among other rights.

After 25 years of the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of the Child, it's time to ask:

Is the world a bet­ter place for chil­dren?

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