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World Rights of the Child Day Transcript
It’s the end of Children’s Book Week, and we have been talking about some of the new books that are ready to be planted in our children’s lives. But for there to even be books in our children’s hands — books to summon wonder, kindle curiosity, feed a hungry imagination, or soothe a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day — some fundamental things should ideally be in place for all children.
The United Nations realized nearly 40 years ago that we had to make the effort to guarantee children certain rights, just as governments granted them to their fully enfranchised adult citizens. And so, forty years ago this weekend the UN adopted the Declaration of Children’s Rights, as an attempt to raise international consciousness and ultimately to effect international actions. We thought that today, the day before World Rights of the Child Day, when these rights are so often and so sadly ignored, we wish to add what we can to this awareness.
Here, then, are the Rights of the Child, read by the children of our area:
The right to affection, love and understanding
The right to adequate nutrition and medical care
The right to free education
The right to full opportunity for play and recreation
The right to a name and nationality
The right to special care, if handicapped
The right to be among the first to receive relief in times of disaster
The right to be a useful member of society and to develop individual abilities
The right to be brought up in a spirit of peace and universal brotherhood
The right to enjoy these rights regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national or social origin