Hi Guys and a happy Thursday to you! Today, I wanted to touch upon a topic that is extra special to me. Some of you may know (not sure if I have mentioned it on any social media channels or on this blog) that I started my career as an elementary school teacher. I loved kids, but the real purpose behind this career choice was that I loved teaching and I wanted to bring my unique emphatic approach to make a difference in the world. Recently, I have been reflecting a lot on how I want to incorporate my personal experiences and skills learned as a teacher (and other professional positions I held) in this blog to make this online place a thorough and intelligent piece of literature where you can learn something.
My awareness of children’s right violations began in high school. That’s when I learned about sweat shops and child labor. Living in Pakistan some 20 years ago, and don’t depend on my faint memory on this one, I don’t remember child labor as a cultural norm as it is now. But despite all the advancements the world has made, child labor, a human right’s violation, is sadly a common practice. Other issues like child marriages are prevalent in regions of Africa and South Asia. Due to conflicts and wars in the Middle East, many children are homeless and/or considered refugees, or are dying of hunger. The issue of homelessness and poverty is prevalent in United States as well. There are many poor neighborhoods where children with disability are not even helped. However, there are numerous organizations fighting for the rights of children, all children, so they can have equal access to healthcare and education.
According to Wikipedia, “Children’s rights are the human rights of children with particular attention to the rights of special protection and care afforded to minors. Children’s rights includes their right to association with both parents, human identity as well as the basic needs for physical protection, food, universal state-paid education, health care, and criminal laws appropriate for the age and development of the child, equal protection of the child’s civil rights, and freedom from discrimination on the basis of the child’s race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, color, ethnicity, or other characteristics. Interpretations of children’s rights range from allowing children the capacity for autonomous action to the enforcement of children being physically, mentally and emotionally free from abuse, though what constitutes “abuse” is a matter of debate. Other definitions include the rights to care and nurturing.”
While children right’s also get violated in effect by conflict and war (the Syrian Refugee Crisis for example), the two issues I wanted to focus on is health and literacy. To me these two issues are cornerstones of all other child related violations in the world. After all, if children go to school, go to college, their chances of getting a job and earning a decent living is higher. Same with health issues. illnesses like polio, AIDS, and malaria plague many nations where children don’t survive past age five.
Don’t get down by this despondent reality as there are many organizations fighting to combat these issues:
One of the easiest thing you can do is donate your money to organizations helping children. An organization I often support is UNICEF. Besides donating money, you can purchase gifts (See HERE) for children around the world. Other ways you can help is by purchasing something from the UNICEF Market (See HERE). A wonderful organization, Malala Fund (See HERE), does a wonderful job in spreading awareness of the importance of women’s education and opens schools in countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Mexico, Pakistan, and India, where girl’s can’t go to school. Another organization I have experience with is Islamic Relief USA (See HERE). Here, besides donating, you can sponsor a child and pay for everything from his/her healthcare, education, to daily needs for less than $60 a month.
In my class I always made a point to educate my students about the world we lived in. It meant showing them movies like “An Inconvenient Truth”, holding annual fundraisers and having numerous discussions on what it means to be a responsible citizen of the world. To teach your children about this topic, some of the children books I suggest are “This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children (See HERE), “If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People” (See HERE), “This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children” (See HERE), “One Well: The Story of Water on Earth” (See HERE), “One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference” (See HERE), and a book title that requires a little imagination because it does a great job in teaching how connected we are is “A Drop Around the World” (See HERE).
I looked up some book titles for adults to learn more about this global issue and came across this website (See HERE).
Well, guys, I hope you have learned something about Children’s Rights and are behooved to go out and do some more research into organizations you can support and books you can use to educate yourself on this topic. News are just a highlight reels, my friends, it is YOUR job to learn more on your own. Happy Reading!!