World Children’s Day 2023

1. Children’s rights are the fundamental entitlements and protections afforded to young individuals, emphasising their well-being, development, and dignity. Rooted in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), these rights encompass areas such as education, health, protection from exploitation, and the right to be heard. The CRC ensures that children are treated with respect and given opportunities to reach their full potential, fostering a foundation for their physical, emotional, and social growth. Children’s rights at the core of the work and vision of the MoCI.

2. The right to play is a vital aspect of children’s rights, acknowledged in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Play is essential for a child’s holistic development, promoting creativity, social skills, and emotional well-being. Recognising play as a fundamental right underscores its importance in fostering a healthy and balanced childhood. It emphasizes the need for a supportive environment where children can engage in spontaneous and structured play, contributing to their overall happiness and fulfilling their right to a fulfilling and joyful childhood.

3. Children have the right to use their own language, culture and religion – even if these are not shared by most people in the country where they live. Children’s right to their culture and language ensures preservation of their identity, heritage, and unique perspectives. Acknowledged in international human rights, this right safeguards diverse cultural expressions, fostering a sense of belonging. It empowers children to connect with their roots, promoting a rich understanding of their heritage. This protection is crucial in maintaining cultural diversity and promoting a world where every child can thrive within their cultural and linguistic context.

4. Children’s rights to be protected in war are enshrined in international law, notably in the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. These rights aim to shield children from the devastating impacts of armed conflicts, prohibiting their recruitment as soldiers and ensuring measures to prevent their harm. The protection extends to humanitarian assistance, safe spaces, and rehabilitation, emphasizing the urgent need to shield children from physical and psychological harm during times of conflict.

5. Children’s rights to be heard and have their views given due weight are fundamental principles outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This right empowers children to express their opinions, participate in decisions affecting them, and be taken seriously in accordance with their evolving capacities. It emphasises the importance of inclusive decision-making, fostering a sense of agency, and recognising children as active contributors to their own lives, ensuring their perspectives shape policies and practices that impact them.