Pupils from Ballytober Primary School in Bushmills joined children and young people from across Northern Ireland in W5 on World Children’s Day (November 20) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) also hosted a Children’s Summit at the venue as part of an international day of action calling for the UNCRC to be incorporated into domestic law.
The UNCRC is the most widely ratified and comprehensive international Human Rights Treaty. It revolutionised the relationship between children and their governments. Rather than being dependent on goodwill and charity, children became ‘rights holders’ and governments became ‘duty bearers’ with responsibility to meet an agreed set of rights that guarantee minimum standards to children of all ages and backgrounds.
Koulla Yiasouma, NI Commissioner for Children and Young People said: “The right to participate and be heard is central to the Convention and the landmark anniversary saw nearly 2,000 primary and secondary school-aged children go on an educational journey through a series of rights-based challenges at W5, taking them from rights holders to child rights defenders.”
Schools, youth groups, councils and government departments across Northern Ireland also marked World Children’s Day by holding rights-based assemblies, providing free sports classes, illuminating council buildings in the UNICEF blue and by sharing messages on social media #ForEveryChild.
The UNCRC has helped to transform children’s lives globally but there is still a lot of work to be done at a local level. In celebration of this milestone, Children’s Rights Summits took place across the world to provide an opportunity for children to engage with local decision makers on the issues that matter most.
www.niccy.org for further information.