For Every Child a Better World
United Nations Publications, 2001 - Children's rights - 44 pages
Inspired by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the book tells the reader, through the gentle voice of Kermit the Frog, about the rights of children everywhere. These include the right to food, clean water, and the right to grow up in a healthy and peaceful environment. Now, reprinted in an updated edition, the book also tells how the United Nations is working to protect those rights.
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It's All About Repsect for Children
This book's true value lies in that it conveys the central tenets of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified in 1989, a decade after the 1979 UN Year of the Child, in honor of Janusz Korczak, the Polish pediatrician, children's book writer, orphanage director, and educator, who literally invented the phrase of acting "in the best interest of the child," upon which this ground-breaking international treaty is based. The central tenet of the UN Treaty and the tenets of Dr. Korczak, which inspired them, is "The Child's Right to Respect," to borrow the title from one of the Old Doctor's books. In addition to basic physical needs, the emotional needs of children must be taken into account. Children have a right to explore and define themselves in their own terms, for children, according to Korczak, "are people - not people-to-be, not people of tomorrow, but people now, right now-today." The child has a right to "be allowed to live and grow.. and grow... and grow... until we are grown up and can decide things for ourselves" (Right no. 6). In other words, we must accept children on their terms. Right 23 speaks to children with disabilities, while Right 31 proclaims the right to have time to play, in other words, to use their imagination and define their world. I cannot think of any message more important for adults to share with children - parents, teachers, and caretakers alike. To quote Janusz Korczak one more time,
"The child? Already human."
"The society? Not yet humane."
This critically important book is a critically important step in reversing this situation; anyone who cares about justice, about morals and ethics, about the future owes it to him- or herself to read this book and then share it with at least one child.