By Sarah Yusoff
Back in primary school then, the only thing we knew about Children’s Day is to assemble in the hall almost the whole day to watch people perform and act on stage, attending class party and having good food. None of us really understood why we actually celebrated the occasion and what was the whole point about it. Or, probably I was the only one who was pretty ignorant and clueless.
20 November is the day when it is celebrated by children, their teachers and parents all over the world annually.
Now, sit down with a cup of coffee or tea in your hand and educate yourself more on this subject.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF CHILDREN’S DAY?
Children’s Day is a day when we honour the children and commemorate the Declaration of the Rights of the Child by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on 20 November 1959.
The date of observance varies by country, as for Malaysia, we celebrate the day on 17 October annually. It was during the World’s Conference on Child Welfare in Geneva that the International Children’s Day was first proclaimed.
WHY DO WE CELEBRATE CHILDREN’S DAY?
One of the purposes of celebrating Children’s Day is to promote international togetherness, awareness among children across the world and improving children’s welfare. It offers children an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and also to celebrate the rights of a child, translating dialogues and actions that will build a better world for children.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RIGHTS THAT A CHILD HAS?
Interesting enough, there is quite a number of rights that a child has and some of the most basic rights includes:
- A name and a nationality at birth
- Family care and parental care
- Basic nutrition
- Basic health care services
- Social services
Regardless of all those, children are still not able to get all the rights listed above. It is said that about 617 million children and adolescents worldwide fail to reach the minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics although two thirds of them are in school. Learning crisis has been one of the greatest global challenges and it is even worse now with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Malaysia specifically, as we are carrying on with our schools via online learning, many of the students are unable to cope with their studies due to reasons such as limited internet access, especially in rural areas.
Students are unable to receive any information from their teacher due to poor internet connection. The unavailability of electronic devices is another major factor as to why many students out there are left far behind from their education and studies.
It is said that at least 1,000 children in Malaysia are reported as victims of child abuse and neglect, which depicts that domestic violence and abuse among children is also a widespread problem and has caused many cases of death too. Children are unable to even feel safe at the comfort of their own homes due to the animal-like behaviour of their parents and guardians.
Hence, it is essential for us to educate ourselves more about the rights of a child and ensure that they are able to get all the basic necessities that they deserve, and on top of that to ensure their safety and health. To learn more about the rights of a child, you can read this or visit this website! ***
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