NewsLocalWorld Children's Day, as humanity still way behind on rights abuses

World Children’s Day, as humanity still way behind on rights abuses



World Children’s Day was first established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day and is celebrated on 20 November each year to promote international togetherness, awareness among children worldwide, and improving children’s welfare.

But today’s realities leave a lot to be desired, as more and more cases of sexual abuse come to the shocking light, (1500 in Cyprus over the past five years) with the latest being accusations of child abuse and labour levelled at ‘Ark of the World’ NGO, one of the biggest in Greece, which currently denies wrongdoing.

Law Commissioner Louiza Christodoulidou Zannetou said in her message that Cyprus received positive remarks on the protection level of children’s rights by the relevant UN committee which convened in Geneva last May.

She noted that Nicosia showed its steadfast commitment towards practical measures in respecting children’s rights, such as strategic actions, programs and professional training either at the state or NGO level.
The international fundamental principle ‘best interest of the child’ is what should guide policies.
This year’s World Children’s Day theme is ‘Equality and Inclusion for Every Child’.
Protection of Chidren’s Rights Commissioner Despo Michaelidou painted a slightly more critical picture, saying that in spite of the progress achieved at an international level, the unhindered access of children to their rights remains a serious challenge, brought on and exacerbated by wars, the migration crisis, the energy crisis, the pandemic and the climate crisis, which daily push more and more children towards poverty, social exclusion and migration.
Michaelidou noted the need to consolidate children’s right to a healthy environment, emphasising access to climate justice through activism as a means of demanding a better future.
‘As such, we should secure their right to take part in peaceful protests, as they are right to angry about how our generation has brought the planet to the brink’, she added.
She further stressed that the state has the clear responsibility of supporting low income households, as poverty and social exclusion do not just affect childhood, but also restrict children’s access to opportunities as adults, with the vicious circle of poverty carried from generation to generation.
The Commissioner makes the point that the only way to create conditions that will allow children to grow in a healthy and safe environment is to allow them to take part in the decision making process.


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