Fifty-seven years ago today, the United Nations officially adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, a list of 10 basic rights of every young person on this earth.
AMONG THEM WERE THE RIGHT TO BE LOVED. THE RIGHT TO RECEIVE FOOD, EDUCATION, AND MEDICAL CARE. THE RIGHT TO PLAY. THE RIGHT TO A NAME.
Some of us might react to this document with confusion. We might think: “These statements are so obvious —why would we even need to write them down on paper? Everyone knows a child has the right to be free and fed, protected and educated.”
BUT THESE STATEMENTS CLEARLY AREN’T OBVIOUS ENOUGH TO EVERYONE.
We’re haunted by the first-hand experiences of seeing these rights disregarded. “The right to…education” wasn’t obvious enough to the man who bought a child for sex in the middle of the school day, when she should have been playing and learning with the rest of her first grade class. “The right to adequate nutrition” wasn’t obvious enough to predators who chose to exploit hungry children in the Philippines in exchange for things like food. “The right to a name” wasn’t obvious enough to the brothel owners who put a girl behind glass with the number 146 pinned to her chest, corresponding to a menu of prices in the hands of customers.
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child states in its opening that “Mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.”
THIS YEAR, ON INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY, WE NEED TO ASK OURSELVES: ARE WE, THE ADULTS OF HUMANKIND, GIVING CHILDREN THE BEST WE HAVE TO GIVE?
Do all the children in our communities have caregivers, teachers, and role models who help them play, learn, and dream big? Can they walk through their neighborhoods without the fear of violence or harassment? Does every kid go home from school to a healthy meal in a supportive family? Does every kid feel loved?
I can’t help but see ways we’re falling short as adults — in our family roles, in our education systems, in our lawmaking. The world I see is not an easy place to be small.
Learn how you can participate in changing things alongside the kids in this world. We’re here to support you in that, until every child is free from trafficking and exploitation. Until every child can get through the day without being threatened, mocked, or harassed. Until every child knows the best that we have to give.
This video below shows one way we at Love146 are ensuring children in our communities who have had their rights violated will now have the best we can give them – and you can be a part of it making it happen here.