To finish our Children Week – that yes, it was very fun around the wagons of Lune Station – we prepared this special post that counts with all the Sisterhood of the Moon in the newsroom, in order to talk about all things important to our children, after all they’re the future of the nation, right?
Therefore, after reminding our childhoods and showing nostalgic content to our children nowadays, what about understanding what really matters to childhood? We’ll talk on this special about some actions and organizations that help with growth and development of our little human beings.
It’s of great importance taking care and protecting children – besides human beings, they are the society we want to change today: they’ll be presidents, rulers and all else. Apart from that, of course, we must protect them once they don’t know how to defend and care for themselves in this moment that their personality is forming.
On this scenario of welcoming, rights and protection, we have some big names of institutions and actions, but we opted today to give this space so important to us as young people in our society, to talk about United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) – which is part of the United Nations (UN) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente here in Brazil.
Knowing that childhood is one of the most important moments on every human’s lives – and that, many times, being the best moments with many happy memories – we know that isn’t always the case; to a great number of children, it’s a difficult moment, many times surrounded by social dificulties, families in risk situations, without basic sanitation and etc. There are those who are abandoned by their families, or abused by those who should love and protect, among many other issues that surroung our society for a long time.
And that was our main point for this special, that brings to a close the Children Week and starts the Children Protection Week here at the blog: we want to show that even though we live some situations and cases, we can, when we get to know projects and protective NGOs, help to make our future and the future of those children a better perspective.
UN – How It Was Formed and What It Defends
There’s no way to start talking about children protection programs without knowing the United Nations. It’s an intragovernmental action created to promote international cooperation.
Among the organization programs, for instance, we have projects like zero hunger – that promotes ways to end hunger, reach food security, better nutrition and sustainable agriculture – and it’s part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
There are many projects, programs, objectives and actions like that and many others around the world – depending on what each country needs more at the moment, they are active and being developed and completed, but far from being a society that doesn’t need this kind of organization anymore.
Founded and established in October 24, 1945, after the end of the Second World War, it came as a replacement for the League of Nations (June 28, 1919 until April 20, 1946) witht the intention to stop another conflict like the world war to happen again. It started working with 51 member states and today counts with 193. It’s headquarters is in Manhattan, New York and it has extraterritoriality.
Even though its initial objective was to maintain peace, the United Nations also started to be responsible for mediating conflicts between countries, maintain international peace, defend human rights, promote sustainable development and economics on countries and cooperation among them, in addition to encouraging autonomy of depending ethnicities, making the ties between sovereign countries stronger, protecting the environment and promoting humanitarian help in cases of environmental disasters or armed conflicts.
The six parts that compose UN’s main formation are:
- The General Assembly (main deliberative assembly);
- The Security Council (to decide on certain peace and security resolutions);
- The Economic and Social Council (in order to help promoting social and economic international cooperation for better development);
- The Human Rights Council (in order to promote and supervise protection of human rights, also proposing international treaties on this theme);
- The Secretariat (to provide studies, informations and facilities needed by the UN);
- And the International Court of Justice (its main judiciary organ)
Apart from the main ones, there are complementary organs from other agencies on the United Nations System, among them the WHO – World Health Organization, that we heard so much during this time of pandemics – the WFP – which is the World Food Programme, one of the responsible to eng hunger and the kickstart of the zero hunger project – and UNICEF – United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the main focus of this special post, with actions that cherish the well being, protection and development of children around the world.
UNICEF works on 190 countries and territories to save the lives of children. To defend their rights. To help them reach their true potential.
Wanting to know more about organizations that are present to help children, we have the UNICEF.
It’s part of the United Nations, having as main objective promoting the protection of children’s rights, helping resolving their needs and contributing to their development, creating favorable conditions in a durable manner.
The UNICEF is ruled by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and works in order to convert those rights in permanent ethical principles and in international codes of conduct for children.
It’s headquarters is located in New York, United States of America.
Protection and Inclusion of Children
Since the first childhood until teen years, UNICEF works so that children that are suffering around the world won’t be helpless. Its resources and works in general are divided in many ways, being:
- Child protection: All child has the right to grow up on a secure and inclusive environment – working with partners around the world promoting policies and expanding accesses to services that protect all children;
- Child survival: All child has the right to survive and prosper – It helped reducing child mortality around the world, working to reach the most vulnerable children everywhere;
- Education: All child has the right to learn – Supports quality education to all girls and boys, specially those who has more probabilities of being left behind;
- Social Policy: Every child has the right to an equitable chance in life – UNICEF also works to reduce child poverty and protect both boys and girls from its consequences during their lives;
- During Emergencies: Reaching all children during emergencies – It hopes to attend before, during and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with help to save lives and assist in long term;
- Gender: All girls have the right to reach their potential – It also aims to train girls and women in order to guarantee their participation in political, social and economic systems;
- Innovation for children: Innovating to generate results for every child – UNICEF works with partnerships in all sectors to create innovative solutions that accelerate the progress of children and young people;
- Supply and Logistics: Providing solutions to reach all children in risk situations – It offers sustainable access to supplies that saves lives where they are most needed, accelerating results to the most vulnerable children;
- Research and Analysis: Using data to generate results – Programs and global initiatives are based on researches and analysis about children situation.
Besides all that, UNICEF also works in fronts like being the biggest global vaccine supplier, supporting health and child nutrition, potable water and sanitation, quality education and training, HIV prevention and treatment to mothers and children, and protecting children and teenagers against violence and exploitation – always doing its best so children’s rights won’t get violated.
UNICEF works day after day on the most difficult places in the world to reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children: delivering results to children and young people is the main goal.
Around the world, there are thousands of children and teens that need help and supervision of an institution that can provide comfort and protection. There are many children that live in an endless cycle of poverty and violence that could be ended – as I talked about on my previous post with the movie Stand By Me: we have cases of children that could be cared by some of the attentions provided by UNICEF, so their traumas don’t get bigger in the future.
For more than 70 years, UNICEF works to better the conditions of many children and their families. Apart from the notable challenges around the world, there are people who volunteer to fight for the rights of every child that search for safe havens, nutrition, protection against disasters and conflicts and equality.
There are many opportunities inside the organization – you can collaborate with volunteer work or donations.
In case you’re curious and want to know more, I’ll leave the website and its social media so you can clarify all questions that are left or in case you’re interested to donate.
Direct link where you can know more about volunteering:
Violation of Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and ECA
Both the UN and the UNICEF work hard in order to defend basic rights of all human beings – both with the Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These documents had their influences on the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988 and the Statute of Children and Teenagers (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente) here in Brazil.
But what are all those documents? What do they talk about? We cannot claim unfamiliarity with the Law here in Brazil, but we have many laws and their writing isn’t always easy. So, I’m going to explain a little to you!
The Declaration of Human Rights by the UN was created right after the horrors and violations on the Second World War. The Human Rights – differently from what many people say about them – are those that guarantee the minimum to a dignified existence of each person in this world.
In other words, it’s the possibility that everyone has to own their own house without fearing it being taken away, to be able to eat a plate of food in each meal of the day, to go out of the house and even travel yo where they want freely, to express their opinions without being persecuted and murdered for it, to be able to walk on the street without being abused, among many other fundamental rights.
The problem is that those fundamental rights are so obvious that most people think they are not rights, but something inherent to their human condition. And that’s the point: Human Rights ARE inherent. It’s for being human that every one of us has those rights that cannot be violated or taken from us.
This has based the Brazilian Federal Constitution and its fundamental rights on its creation in 1988.
After that, we had the Convention on the Rights of the Child, created in 1990 and adopted by the UN General Assembly. Ratified (that means signed and applied) by 196 countries – the only one that didn’t ratified it was the USA.
Considering children, in general, all minors of 18 years old, the Convention brings previsions to protect the basics for a healthy and dignified life – since extremely basic rights like equality, survival, life and development until stopping illegal transferences between countries, guaranteeing freedom of thought, protecting in cases of disabilities, dignified treatment as a refugee, among many others.
The Convention also has optional protocols on Selling Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, Child Involvement in Armed Conflicts and Comunication Procedures.
On Brasil, we have the Statute of Children and Teenagers (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente) (famous ECA), of 1990. It protects all children regarding life, health, food rights, education, sports, recreation, professionalization, culture, dignity, respect, freedom and family and social living.
It protects children from the most frequent violations – such as domestic violence, physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence and negligence.
In other words: in ANY situation that happens some of these violences, it MUST be reported and any of those documents can be used to punish the one who caused the violence to the child.
Cases like those must be reported to the authorities.
It’s important not allowing cases of children’s rights violations to go silent. It’s important to report and protect children and teens – and not only because they are the future, but because they are human beings.