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For Every Child

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    Learning about Children's Rights to Create Respect for All

    In 1989, the United Nations adopted 54 principles in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. If you are like me, you are probably unaware of what these rights are. This beautifully illustrated book captures almost a third of the rights in a way that will help your child expand her or his awareness of the problems that other children face. In the process, you can help your child to learn how to become an effective, caring person. In the United States, each sale will generate a donation of $1.50 for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes in his foreword about the purpose of the book which is ' . . . to create a new kind of society . . . where children's rights are respected and protected.' He cites many of the horrors we have all seen about children, including the napalmed little girl in Viet Nam whose photographic image will always haunt our dreams. What are some of these rights? Here are a few: ' . . . [A]lways do your best for us whenever we are in your care.' Right Number 3 'All children hould be allowed to live and grow . . . until . . . we can decide things for ourselves.' Right Number 6 'Every one of us shall have a name and a land of our own.' Right Number 7 'Keep our families together . . . [or] look after us and love us just the same.' Right Number 9 'Allow us to tell you what we are thinking or feeling.' Right Number 13 'No one on Earth has the right to hurt us . . . .' Right Number 19 'If we are disabled . . . treasure us especially and give us . . . care.' Right Number 23 'Teach us all to read and write . . . .' Rights Number 28 and 29 'Allow us to say our prayers in our own words . . . .' Right Number 30 'In times of war . . . shelter us and protect us from all harm.' Right Number 38 While you may not agree with each nuance of the wording, the book provides the opportunity for your youngster to discover that other children face fundamental challenges. That can lead to a natural inquiry into what can be done to help. You can discuss this in your own way, but you may find it valuable to help your child know what his or her choices are. These could include helping other children in your own community who need care, learning to be a good parent, and raising money to share with less fortunate children wherever they live. Archbishop Tutu's comments are more appropriate for adults than for children, so you will probably want to wait to discuss what he has to say until your child is of an appropriate maturity to know more about the horrors of when children's rights are violated. The reading level for that material is beyond young children, so you are unlikely to have your child reading and comprehending this material before age 7. It is neutrally written, but will probably generate pointed questions. In a way, it is valuable to you in being able to create an opportunity to provide reassurance for your own child that she or he is safe and loved. Many children have vague fears in these areas that they are reluctant to raise with adults. No review of this book would be complete without mentioning the many beautiful two-page illustrations in

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