Child Rights Day:
"We come to the child friendly centre to play".
November the 20th is World Children's Day – that's why we celebrate children's rights! And this around 99 years after our founder Eglantyne Jebb documented the rights of children in a first declaration in Geneva.
Whether in our child friendly centres in Yemen, worldwide or in Switzerland – all children have the same rights.
UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – a milestone for children
All children around the world have the same rights – including the right to life, education, health, and protection from violence. On the 20th of November 1989, these and other universally valid as well as non-negotiable children’s rights were officially adopted with 54 articles in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Almost all countries have signed this type of agreement. The aim is to ensure that children are given the best possible foundation so that they can develop to their full potential. For the first time, children are regarded as independent personalities who have their own legal status and can claim these rights – a milestone for children.
Although this convention sets guidelines and standards and progress has been made in recent years, major challenges remain – too many children still suffer from hunger, are excluded from school, or are affected by war and conflict.
Every war is a war against children!
Civil war in Yemen: The greatest humanitarian crisis of our time
In Yemen, for example, civil war has been raging for six years. The effects of the crisis are most evident in the growing threat of famine, the outbreak of diseases, the people on the move and the number of victims. Children are particularly affected by this crisis – almost one in four civilian victims is a child. In addition, 2.4 million children have been displaced from their homes since the beginning of the civil war. According to the United Nations, this war is one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of our time. An estimated 20.7 million people are dependent on humanitarian aid.
People in Yemen depend on humanitarian aid.
A safe place during the war
Save the Children wants to support those children. Therefore, we have been responding to the current crisis since 2015 and have been able to reach more than 6.8 million children with our aid. This includes child friendly places – for example in Taiz in the south of the country.
With our child friendly centre, we enable the children to have a safe place where they can be with their friends and have a break from everyday life. The centre is an important place where children can learn and play. Under the supervision of teachers, children, and young adults thus experience organised games or learn handicraft skills.
The minute I enter the centre, I feel I have gone to a place, where I learn beautiful things that I didn’t know about before.
Not only in Yemen, but worldwide and also in Switzerland, we support children with our programme “child friendly spaces” – whether it is in emergency shelters after natural disasters, in refugee camps in countries of origin or transit, or in asylum shelters in countries of arrival. Children often have neither retreat nor shelter in such situations. With our child friendly spaces, we therefore offer children the opportunity to cope with what they have experienced and to find peace. A safe place, age-appropriate games, developmental activities, and clear structures allow the children to regain a bit of normality and security.