.. was the key message of Sierra Leone’s Mellicentia’s speech at the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva on Friday, 28th of September 2018.
Over 20 children (aged between 14 and 17) had the chance to lead us through the various conferences about the world’s problems and solutions seen from many children’s perspectives.
2018 marks the 20th anniversary of children as human rights defenders (CHRD’s), and the child defenders focused more than ever before on Art. 12 of the Child Rights Convention: “We have the right to have an opinion, to express it and to be listened to !” Well, yes, we at Humanium couldn’t agree more, this is one of our key messages too.
And 15 years old Keita from Argentina adds: “We must say what we see. We are innocent and innocence comes with truth. That is why we must continue to speak up. Friends, stand up for young people, fear shall have no place in your life ! Only when we stand up we have the potential to push ahead and make a difference locally, in our surroundings.” Beautiful ! And also accusing voices were heard, like a Swedish boy from the audience who said : “Well, as for me, I often get the feeling that the consultation of children is just a tick-box exercise.”
Humanium’s view and what we continue saying and standing up for in schools and amongst audiences of adults who work with children : “We believe that regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl, black or white, child or adult, we are all only humans. Humans at the same size. None of us is bigger than the other, none of us is less important. Yes, stand up for your rights and stand up for the rights of others, listen to them, give others space to be heard, only one who feels recognised feels loved and integrated into her / his society”.
29th of September 2018, written by Arndt Soret.