On November 20th, it is the Universal Children’s Rights day. It is also a celebration that UNICEF and the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. During this Hague Talks, we will talk with three speakers on how they use the Children’s Rights Convention in their efforts to improve the situation of children. And why this convention can sometimes have a clash of opposing ideals and interests.
This treaty contains 54 articles and sets out the basic fundamental rights of the child. Ever since the convention has been established, a lot has improved. However, there are still millions of children who continue to be confronted with violations of their basic rights every day. After all, implementing universal children’s rights seems more complex in reality.
Who monitors the compliance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child? And who has the responsibility to enforce this treaty when there is a matter of children’s rights violations?
- Safiyeh Salehi Mobarakeh. Co-founder and Chair of the Board Zero INvisible Children (ZINC), an NGO whose mission is to certify the identity of undocumented children in conflict zones leveraging Blockchain technology. Currently there are 290 million undocumented children worldwide. According to Article 7, all children have the right to be registered after birth. However, many children are still denied this fundamental human right. Safiyeh’s goal is to provide an innovative solution for those children by providing them with a resilient digital identity.
- Lama Bou Saed, a 14 year old girl fled from Syria, from the UNICEF youth panel shares her own personal story to show us how important it is for children to have access to their rights. She will focus on the importance of Article 22 that is supposed to give special protection to refugee children.
- Kristen Cheney. Associate Professor in Children & Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). She focuses on the adverse effects of orphanage tourism. Despite the fact that volunteers and tourists go abroad with good intentions to work in orphanages, this is at the expense of the rights and development of the children. Article 20 of the convention gives special protection to orphans. Kristen advocates alternative solutions to protect and help children without contributing to the orphanage industry.
The moderator will be Sabine de Jong, children’s rights expert and team coordinator for international programs at UNICEF, The Netherlands. Implementing the UN Children’s Rights Convention is the basis of her work. She also advocates in the House of Representatives and at the Ministerial levels striving for a better postion of children within the Dutch policy.
Also to see
The exhibition ‘This is me’ by Terre des Hommes shows children who are victims of sexual exploitation in Thailand. Photographer Marieke van der Velden visited two shelters for victims of sexual exploitation. In this exhibition, you will see impressive stories of young people and what it means to them to have a perspective on the future again with the help that they receive.