This year is the 21st anniversary of The Convention on the Rights of the Child Convention (CRC) and we need to ask ourselves: Are children’s rights around the world being respected? There are over 1 billion children living in poverty today. Hunger, child labour, exploitation, discrimination, lack of education and a lack of medical care continue to impact children’s lives around the world.
In 1989, the CRC established a universal set of human rights for children that should be respected by governments around the world. These standards are supposed to be non-negotiable and include 54 articles that outline children’s rights.
Article 13 states:
The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through other media of the child’s choice.
Article 13 fit perfectly with our decision to participate once again in the Vow of Silence sponsored by Free the Children. We want to let the voices of children everywhere be heard. We want their rights to be upheld. So today, along with 3 other classes in the school, we were silent – for the entire school day. We learned in silence. I taught in silence. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it if we were able to bring that much more attention to the unthinkable conditions some children live and work in. Family and friends also pledged us for every hour we were silent and we’ll let you know our total soon. the money we raise will go towards a Free the Children project.
We have another video in the works as well – a combined effort of all the classes involved in the Vow today. We’ll post it as soon as we can.
I have to say the Ripplers were a determined bunch. Today was our first day of snow, too! Normally that would create quite a scene in class, but today it came in second to their commitment. This year’s students outlasted last year’s class by quite a bit. It was clear that this mattered to them. It was clear they took it seriously.
And this was only one day … we know it takes much more than one day of activism to make a difference … but it’s a start. Now, the discussion begins … what will we set our sights on next?
(While you are waiting for this year’s video, feel free to watch our masterpiece from last year)