TOMORROW, 20th November, is World Children’s Day. It is not as popular as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day for the simple reason that it is not as lucrative an observation and mothers and fathers’ day. But unlike the former which focus on the celebration of mothers and fathers on a commercial scale, World Children’s Day serves to promote awareness of the need to improve the welfare of children on a global scale.
World Children’s Day was established in 1954 by the United Nations General Assembly. November 20th was considered to be significant as it was the date in 1959 that the UN General Assembly adopted the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child’, as well as the date in 1989 that the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ was adopted.
All members of society including parents, teachers, government representatives, religious leaders, business leaders and the media are encouraged to work together in order to make World Children’s Day as relevant as possible. This observation is about building a better society for children to live in; a society which is concerned about the rights and welfare of every child.
Sadly, very little to no emphasis is placed on the importance which is represented by World Children’s Day. Indeed, very little emphasis is placed on human life, if it is not the kind of emphasis that is profitable to some major organisation. People are more encouraged to care for property than they are encouraged to care for human life. It is no wonder why this is so. The greatest value and appreciation is placed on things which are scarce. Human beings are perceived to be an overabundant renewable resource and this is why such little value is placed on human life. Unless we adopt a more positive attitude toward one another, this will only change when human beings fall in such supply.
Children are disgracefully regarded to be the lesser counterpart of the human race. They are the most vulnerable among us and that is one of the reasons that they suffer the most. They suffer more because our humanity is steadily being replaced by materialism. Law enforcers are more concerned about penalising persons for driving without a license than it is concerned about penalising parents who purposely do not provide for their children. Driver’s licenses, vehicle inspection and vehicle insurance must be in place for vehicle ownership for instance, but hardly any importance is placed on the ability to provide what is necessary to raise a child in the modern society.
If our attitude to raising children were as positive as our attitude to protecting and safeguarding property then ours would be a safer and more amiable world. World Children’s Day is about promoting a holistic and communal approach towards the welfare of all children as opposed to the separate parental approach. Through collective responsibility for the well-being and safety of children, we can contribute to a world for future generations in which human life is valued above all else.
We should do away with the ‘your child’ and ‘my child’ mentality and foster a spirit of inclusion in which we see all children as our children. The value of human life should be taught in all schools to all children, and we should demonstrate and reflect this in the treatment of all children within our society. Children have been mistreated, neglected and abandoned for too long and it is time to make a difference and protect the rights of children. There is so much to be discussed on the subject. May the dialogue continue.