Posts Tagged ‘children’

“The Boy At The Back Of The Class” gets upgraded

March 24, 2019

The founder of a London human rights organisation (Making Herstory) has won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019 for her story about a Syrian child refugee. Onjali Q. Raúf won the award for her The Boy At The Back Of The Class, which tells the story of Ahmet, a nine-year-old Syrian boy who moves to a new school after fleeing his war-torn homeland, won best story.

The Boy At The Back Of The Class was inspired by the children she met while working in refugee camps. The story follows the arrival of Ahmet, separated from his family, in a strange new world. When none of the grown-ups seem to be able to help him, Ahmet’s new school friends “come up with a daring plan, embarking on a seemingly madcap adventure”. The Waterstones prize judges said: “Told with heart and humour, it’s a child’s perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn’t always make sense”.  James Daunt, Waterstones Managing Director, said: “It is, notwithstanding its urgent contemporary relevance, a book that is funny, generous and vivid. It is a joy to read, and we recommend it unreservedly.”

Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/culture/arts/syrian-child-refugee-story-wins-waterstones-childrens-book-prize-2019/

Children as Human Rights Defenders: UN Committee has discussion

September 29, 2018

On 28 September the United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of the Child held a Day of General Discussion on the topic “Children as Human Rights Defenders”. United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, gave the opening speech; here some excerpts:

….It is my great pleasure to join in welcoming you all to this Day of General Discussion on Children Human Rights Defenders..I am most excited of course to be welcoming the members of the Child Advisory Team. You make this such a very special moment for us all – for us personally who work here and for the human rights work we try to do here. This year is the 20th birthday of the UN Human Rights Defenders Declaration and the 70th birthday of the UDHR. ….

Today, we will talk with you, about you. We will listen to you, …….

….We older people have failed you – have failed children. In so many places, in so many ways – older people are still failing children…….

Yet, the strange thing about this, is that it was older people – even older people – including some working 70 years ago – who made those laws and standards that recognise you have those rights, and yet it is older people who are breaking those promises.

……………If young age is no barrier to experiencing the worst consequences of older people’s decisions, then why use young age as an excuse to leave you out, to lock you out, from the places where those decisions could be changed. As human rights defenders, you know far better than I do why it is so important that we rethink the power relationship between older and young people.  If we would just change how we older people relate to children, make more room for you, listen to you more respectfully, value your experiences more, keep our promises to you then maybe we too would grow up and with you, just get on with changing the world for better.

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23654&LangID=E

 

Reprisals against children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE

October 11, 2015

The second case concerning children of human rights defenders is a more general category as described by Rebecca Sheff in a blog on Human Rights First: “Reprisals Against Children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE“.

She reports that on 8 October 2015, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report expressing “concern” about the United Arab Emirates’ treatment of human rights defenders and their families. It noted that the government has been persecuting the children of defenders, restricting their “rights to education, identity documents, to freedom of movement and to keep contact with their detained parents.” The Convention on the Rights of the Child requires the UAE to protect children against discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions, or beliefs of their parents. The UAE’s acts of intimidation violate children’s fundamental rights and inhibit the work of defenders. Dozens of political prisoners in the UAE are serving long prison sentences after being convicted in a mass unfair trial in 2013.  ….The Committee on the Rights of the Child also expressed concern “about the reported continuous harassment of human rights defenders in the State party, which greatly undermines the emergence of a vibrant civil society as well as the protection and promotion of children’s rights.” The lack of a robust civil society in the UAE means that children’s rights issues are neglected and violations go unaddressed. Ahmed Mansoor, a prominent human rights defender in the UAE, recently received the 2015 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders.

Indeed one of the most moving scenes in the film on the work of MEA Laureate Mansoor was when he told how his own child did not recognize him after a stay in detention: (minutes 5.20)

 

Source: Reprisals Against Children of Human Rights Defenders in UAE | Human Rights First

Tony Blair’s Children’s Award in contrast with his PR work for a dictator

November 27, 2014

This blog has always had keen interest in awards and in celebrities abusing their reputation. The current row over Tony Blair receiving an award from Save the Children USA as described by Katie Nguyen of Reuters on 26 November 2014 is exactly at the crossroads of these two interest.

Quartet Representative to the Middle East and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair attends the International donors conference on financing the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in Cairo October 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Files
(former British Prime Minister Tony Blair at International donors conference on October 12, 2014. 
CREDIT: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY/FILES)
Save the Children’s U.S.A chapter gave its annual Global Legacy Award to former British prime minister Tony Blair last week. It stated that it was to recognise Blair’s role in persuading the G8 to agree to debt relief of $40 billion for the poorest nations. Staff working for the charity were furious about the award, the Guardian newspaper reported and more than 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding that Save the Children revoke the award.

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Optional Protocol Children’s Rights comes into effect in April

January 15, 2014

Photo: ILO

With Costa Rica as the tenth country to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children or their representatives will have the possibility to file an individual complaint as from  April 2014,when the Protocol comes formally into effect, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announcement on 14 January.