The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in collaboration with UNICEF Namibia, held a presentation at the UN house on 13 September 2017 about the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Approximately 40 learners aged between eight and ten from Windhoek International school attended the presentation.
The presentation covered the importance of children’s rights which includes empowering children to enjoy and exercise their rights and to respect and uphold the rights of others as they act to promote justice for peace.
Children were briefed on their responsibilities to know their rights. They have the right to quality education, health care, to a name and nationality as well as the right to freedom of expression. The Children displayed extraordinary engagement and interest in learning about the presentation and the rights they are entitled to.
One child stood up and told the audience that she has the right to equality. “To be treated fairly and with respect and also treat others equally and with dignity”. A child has the right to grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. They have the right to food, shelter, clean water and to be able to participate in the society as individuals.
The presentation was based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession recession by General Assembly and is also known as Resolution 44/25 of 20 November 1989. The Government of Namibia adopted it on the 28 September 1990.
The presenters created an atmosphere for the children to engage and participate and ensured that the Children’s Rights are deeply rooted in their minds. Children learned that they have the right to a meaningful life with proper guardians and people who care for them. They learned about how they have the right to, an identity, an official record of who they are, to play, to rest and to have privacy.
The presentation covered the important ways children are protected from abuse and extortion. Emphasis was also placed on children to speak their minds and share their opinions in ways that do not offend or harm others.
At the conclusion of the presentation, learners were presented with scenarios that provided an overview of violations of their rights. They were encouraged to review their rights and discuss ways in which the scenarios violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In its totality, the presentation taught the children about their rights, to speak up for themselves and to seek help from their guardians when they think their rights are being violated. The young learner’s engagement showed that they were already very familiar with their rights and well prepared to take on the responsibility of protecting and harboring their rights and those of their peers.