At the beginning of the 21st Century the
children of the world are facing an undeclared assault upon their childhood
as they suffer as a result of poverty, sexual exploitation, abuse as well
as becoming the innocent victims of wars and the HIV/AIDS epidemics.Ten
years ago the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and
the UN Secretary General has stated “we have no higher priority, no
prouder achievement, than our work for the rights of children!”
few facts indicate it may be a little early “for we the people”
to be proud of our achievement:
million children die before reaching their fifth year
million homeless children living in the streets around the world.
children die every week from diseases and malnutrition.
million children are objects of sexual abuse - child pornography and demand
for child prostitutes has increased globally.
million children are refugees or internally displaced in their homeland.
million children are child slaves
of girls are ‘missing’ as a result of foeticide, infanticide and neglect.
of children are being orphaned as their parents die of AIDS related illnesses.The
figures are unimaginable – already 11 million children in sub-Saharan Africa
alone have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and reliable sources estimate
that by 2010 there will be more than 30 million children orphaned by AIDS
more are being orphaned by poverty and war. The most defenceless victims
of the savagery of war are children who are terrorized, often sexually
abused, mutilated, forced to participate in killing or enrolled as child
soldiers.Ethnic wars target children
as they represent the future and in the last 10 years alone 1.5 million
children have died in wars. Long after war is over children continue to
be traumatized by their brutal experience and to be at risk as the hundreds
of thousands of landmines left as a deadly legacy of war continue to maim
or kill 800 children each month. Millions of children live their entire
childhood in refugee camps.
many countries orphans are considered as outcasts.Throughout
the world millions of children are kept in grossly sub-standard orphanages
and other institutions, suffering from inadequate food, clothing, medical
care, lack of stimulation and neglect.Medical
care for orphans is limited and basic medical supplies are scarce.
week 250,000 children die - victims of avoidable disease and malnutrition
- and millions more are condemned to suffer poor health and stunted growth.Education
is vital to the development of children and is recognized as a universal
human right.Yet the unpalatable
truthis millions of children
inherit a lifelong handicap as they do not receive even a basic education.
AN UNACCEPTABLE TRAGEDY
International regards the current state of affairs as an unacceptable tragedy.Children
alone cannot argue for their rights - they need advocates to help them
understand their rights, to work actively on their behalf and to build
global, regional and national coalitions to ensure the world community
is made fully aware of the abuses perpetrated on children.As
the second UN Special Session on the Rights of the Child (2001) approaches,
“we the people” should demand less rhetoric from our governments and more
real action to put rights into practice.All
governments should end impunity for those who violate child rights.
constructive, pro-active partnership between children, adults, all sectors
of civil society, child rights and well-being non-governmental and inter-governmental
organisations, and all governments is vital if the full rights and well-being
of the children of the world are to be secured.
International supports projects offering solutions to the problems of the
most vulnerable children and families, through prevention, information,
out-reach and training activities.Of
special focus are children in especially difficult circumstances: - refugee
or IDP children, street children, children in conflict with the law or
at risk of being in conflict with the law, drug and alcohol addicts and
children in institutions.
Children of the World Initiative (WCWI)
Rights and Well-being Advocacy Programme
of the Silk Road Programme: practical assistance projects
Kidz OK!: support for orphan focused projects and NGOs working with orphans.
Children of the World Initiative (WCWI)
aims to allievate suffering of children by:
many of us childhood memories are of certainty, the certainty of love,
of feeling safe and of belonging.
Millions of children are being denied such memories.By
supporting the WomenAid Children of the World
Initiative you can help a child in peril to experience a safer
urgent relief aid and support for children in distress;
child rights advocacy and development and training ‘Rights Educators’;
youth friendly clinics, safe spaces, crisis centres and shelters providing
respite to children in crisis, including the provision of crisis telephone
street children with access to 'life skills' - resisting peer pressure,
problem solving, decision making and negotiation skills; as well as resources
available to meet their immediate needs;
multi-disciplinary services for children traumatised by war and low-intensity
awareness of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemics upon children;
concrete orphan support policies and empowering orphaned children, fostering
the spirit of self-reliance;
effective community responses and strengthening childcare provision services,
promoting the development of new models of care service delivery;
organisational and institutional capacity building and providing financial
and material assistance, as well as training;
rehabilitation and construction programmes;
media advocacy programmes to increase public support for the rights of