Celebrating three decades of child rights

by Children and Young People Commissioner, Jodie Griffiths-Cook.

On November 20, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child celebrated its 30th anniversary. I was privileged to celebrate the occasion with students at Ainslie School. Following an earlier education and brainstorming session that we led with a group Year 6 students, the students began developing and designing a range of fun activities to build their fellow students’ awareness and understanding about children’s rights.

Despite the group initially thinking they would choose a handful of rights they thought were most important, in the course of their planning activities they decided that all of the rights were equally important, and that what is important to one child at a particular time may be very different to what is important to another.

In the end, all of their activities reflected this broad focus and encompassed all rights.

The activities included orienteering and other games with a rights focus; art activities that enabled creative expression about child rights; and a wishing well where children could write wishes for children in countries who don’t have access to their rights in the same way we do.

The most common message I heard from the students is best expressed in the words of one child who said: “I wished for every child in the world to have a really happy life, and for them to be looked after by someone who loves them.”