Children in Nepal, Image credit to author
When we become parents, we make a promise to our children that we will do everything in our power to protect them and to help them learn, grow and thrive. But did you know that the world has made a similar promise to all children to protect and promote their rights to reach their full potential?
On November 20, 1989 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child has been acceded to or ratified by 196 countries – more countries than any other international treaty.
The Convention sets out the basic human rights that every child should have to develop to their fullest human potential, regardless of where they live in the world. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; promoting the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child. The Convention also protects children’s rights by setting standards that governments should provide in the areas of health care, education, and legal, civil and social services.
As UNICEF notes,
The articles of the Convention, in addition to laying the foundational principles from which all rights must be achieved, call for the provision of specific resources, skills and contributions necessary to ensure the survival and development of children to their maximum capability. The articles also require the creation of means to protect children from neglect, exploitation and abuse.
Interested in learning more? Below are a few of the rights guaranteed by the Convention along with photos of children that I have taken around the world.
Article 1: “A child means every human being below the age of 18 years.”
A child in Zanzibar, Image credit to author
Article 2: Children must be treated “ … without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of … race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status.”
A child in Cameroon, Image credit to author
Article 3: “In all actions concerning children … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.”
Articles 5 & 18: State signatories must “… respect the … rights and duties of parents … [and recognize that] both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing … of the child.”
A family in Morocco, Image credit to author
Articles 12-14: “… the child who is capable of forming his or her own views [has] the right to express those views [and] the right to freedom of … thought, conscience and religion.”
Article 19: Children must be protected from “… injury or abuse … including sexual abuse, while in the care of parents … or any other person….”
Article 22: “… a child who is seeking refugee status or who is … a refugee … [shall] receive appropriate protection and humanitarian assistance ….”
Article 23: The State recognizes “… the right of the disabled child to special care” and the right to “… enjoy a full and decent life in conditions which ensure dignity ….”
Article 24: All children have the right to “the highest attainable standard of health … [including access to] primary health care … nutritious foods and clean drinking-water.”
Children in Norway, Image credit to author
Article 27: Every child has “the right to a standard of living adequate for [her/his] physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development.”
A child in the Iceland, Image credit to author
Articles 28 & 29: State signatories must “recognize the right of a child to education…[that develops] the child’s personality, talents, mental and physical abilities.”
Photo Credit to the Author
Articles 32 & 36: Children must be “protected from economic exploitation … and from [hazardous] work [and] all other forms of exploitation.
These are just some of the rights set forth in the Convention. You can read the full text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child here.
For ideas about activities that you can do with your kids to teach them about rights and responsibilities, check out our past Human Rights Day posts:
10 Things to Do With Your Kids on Human Rights Day (2011)
Human Rights Activities To Do With Your Kids (2013)
Human Rights Activities To Do With Your Kids (2014).
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jennifer Prestholdt.
As an Indian, writing about the #NepalEarthquake today, I have to share a few interesting facts about the Indo-Nepal relationship. An Indian National does not need a VISA to travel to Nepal, and an Indian National does not need even a passport to enter Nepal.
An Indian National only needs some sort of ID card on him to show that he is in an Indian National. And then he is free to come and go.
That is the level of friendship, comradeship, and mutual trust and confidence the countries have on each other. It is just like traveling to another state within India.
It was a great shock to hear about the earthquake on Saturday April 25th. On this date, Nepal was hit by earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude that has killed over 7000 people. The death toll is unfortunately estimated to increase up to 10,000 as rescue efforts span out to remote regions of the epicentre. Nepal has experienced over 50+ aftershocks of 4.5 magnitudes or higher after the initial earthquake.
The injured are in need of desperate medical attention. Countless have lost their homes and are on streets in need of food, water, and medical supplies.
Buildings collapsed in Siliguri, North India
I was traveling in North India when I learned about the #NepalEarthquake. Some parts of Delhi, Lucknow, Bihar (all in India) felt the tremors and aftershocks. At least 60 people were killed in North India and more than 100 injured during this period. I frantically checked for all my friends in North India and Nepal. I even got a call from my friend and fellow World Mom, The Human Rights Warrior, Jennifer Prestholdt to help contact the school in Nepal that her organization works closely with. Major telecom provider #Airtel had made all calls free from India to Nepal. You can read her story about when she finally got the news she was hoping for, and when she read the text message “All our SPCS family r safe,” from Anoop Poudel, headmaster at the Sankhu-Palubari Community School (SPCS) in Nepal.
Aftermath and rubble
Indian government’s Operation Maitri (meaning friendship) aptly called so, has started helping within 15 minutes of the earthquake.
Organizations like Save the Children, Red Cross, UNICEF, WFP and Care are on the ground with supplies and volunteers. These organizations have teams on the ground and are the most capable in immediate rescue and relief work.
1. Save the Children
Save the Children is an international charity that has been in Nepal since 1976. In fact, when the earthquake hit, there were nearly 500 of their aid workers, mostly Nepalese, on the ground who were already doing work in the area. This was a great help when there were difficulties with the airport at first, according to Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children. Also, 10% of funds are going to preparations for future disasters. You can donate to their Nepal Earthquake Children’s Relief Fund.
2. Red Cross
The Red Cross has committed an initial $300,000 of aid as well as 19,000 non-food relief kits. You can donate to the Red Cross Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
3. Global Giving
Online fund-raising platform Global Giving is running a project to raise $1,000,000 for disaster relief in Nepal and has raised over $570,000 so far.
To make a donation, visit Global Giving here. If you have a U.S. cell phone, you can text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to make a $10 donation.
4. Friends Service Council Nepal
FSCN is a Nepalese NGO with over 20 years of experience in supporting disaster relief efforts for disasters in Nepal. If you want to give directly to a local charity, get in contact and a volunteer will explain how best to transfer money to them.
Oxfam, which works in more than 90 countries, has already dispatched technical experts from the U.K. to Nepal.
To make your donation to Oxfam’s relief effort, go here.
Goonj is an Indian relief agency with 11 offices and more than 300 employees. Currently, Goonj is readying two trucks of relief material to transfer to Nepal, with more urgent supplies going by air. For more information about how to donate, visit their website.
Additionally, you could also consider donating at the following links/websites.
Sarvodaya USA: Which is a Madison, WI based non-profit organization. They have done some good work in Nepal and Sri Lanka. They now have volunteers helping in relief work.
World Food Program
Global Outreach Doctors
There are local organizations that are on ground taking care of the survivors and injured. If you wish to make contributions to these organizations, please visit their website below.
Nepal ko Yuwa
And you could contribute too, in other ways, by sending your prayers, thoughts of love, unity and world brotherhood to all of them affected there, the survivors and the long passed souls. Let us pray for some peace.
This is an original post from our World Mom and Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan.
Her contributions to World Moms Blog can be found here. She also rambles at The Alchemist’s Blog.
Photo credit to Krish Dulal Creative Commons, Deccan Chronicle, Maps of India, European pressphoto Agency.
Article has been written with inputs from author’s friend having close ties with relatives on field in Nepal, Time.com and local Indian TV News channels.
World Moms Blog has a long history of advocating for global vaccinations with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, and we are honored to host a post for their #Blogust campaign going on this month! The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness for vaccinations for the children who need them most. Every comment on this post will unlock one donated vaccine for a child. And don’t stop there — every social media share counts, too! You can visit all the posts in the relay at www.blogust.org.
So, tell me now, have you ever experienced any “firsts” growing up that were better than you ever expected or were highly impressionable on who you are today? Many highly anticipated first experiences often come and go forgotten or don’t really mean anything today in retrospect, right? But, here’s a story of one first in my life that made an impact, and I admit to even going back for more! It’s not chocolate, but could have been chocolate, but no, it wasn’t.
Ok, here goes…My age was only 14. I boarded a big yellow school bus to travel to the great big city to my first international summit. And I left with a new perspective on what one person, one child, in fact, could have on the world. This is the story of my first trip to the UN in New York city and how I wound up there as a teenager…
Growing up on the Atlantic coast in New Jersey, USA, it’s common to spend many days on the beautiful sandy shores of my home state and playing in the surf. What was not to love back then?
The pollution, that’s what.
Back in the 1990s, plastic bags, straws, cans, plastic tampon applicators, you name it — all washed up on our beaches. Beaches were closed after hypodermic needles arrived on our shores with other hospital waste. We were swimming in this dangerous mess, and as a species, we were not only endangering our fellow humans, but recklessly damaging a habitat that marine life called home.
The pollution and lack of empathy to preserve our planet drove me nuts!
So, as a teenager I wound up joining a local environmental advocacy group to help raise awareness about the importance to keep our oceans clean and attended their beach clean ups. At a meeting back in 1990 they gave us the news that the UN would be hosting an environmental summit for youth in New York City. I had to go — the UN! The environment!! Yes!!!
I took the information about the youth summit to my high school principal and made the case that our school should be represented. On the day of the summit, my school, Brick Memorial High School, had a delegation en route with our amazing science teacher, Mrs. Kingman.
We were wide-eyed while entering the famous main UN room with seats and labels for delegations from each country. It was a place where decisions were made on human rights, trade, embargos, and we sat down and took to playing with the microphone systems (so hard to resist!). We looked around at all the other students, both, similar and different to us. We didn’t know what to expect from the event, and as it got started, out came speaker after speaker — all kids like us, at the time, from around the world. They spoke of environmental issues affecting the areas they lived in and what was needed or what they were doing to make a difference.
At the UN’s environmental youth summit in the 1990s.
Back in the early 1990s at the UN youth environmental summit, one boy in particular — I remember him being younger than me at the time, maybe 12 years old? maybe younger? — gave a presentation on how the lives of sea turtles in Florida were becoming threatened. He, on his own, was responsible for saving the lives of thousands of babies by protecting their nests and helping the hatchlings out to sea. Our delegation went from wide-eyed to teary eyed. He brought the house down in applause and pride for our fellow youth. That moment engrained in me of how one person, regardless of age, can make an impact on the planet. He was an inspiration.
My first experience at the UN was definitely one that was positive and inspiring — a big realization that we were all players in a world much larger than our own hometowns. And kids could make change, too! They were even already doing it. This mindset is something that inspired me as a kid and will continue to impact how I raise my young daughters today and in the future.
As a part of World Moms Blog, I still jump on the opportunity to head to the UN when we’re invited to report, especially around the UN General Summit & Social Good Summit and for the annual State of the World’s Mother’s Report. We have become our own “United Nations” of moms, here! And additionally, in 2012 when I was asked to be part of a UN Foundation delegation to Uganda with Shot@Life, I was honored to answer the call, too, with the same 14-year old excitement I had when attending the environmental youth summit back in the early 90s. Which brings me back full circle for the purpose of this post…
Elizabeth, a volunteer health worker in Fort Portal, Uganda with World Moms Blog Founder, Jennifer Burden on a Shot@Life trip October 2012.
While in Uganda with Shot@Life, I witnessed children receiving life-saving vaccinations at UNICEF’s Family Health Days around the country. We sat under shady trees and spoke with mothers who wanted the same for their children: good health and an education. We played with lots of children, knowing that because they were being vaccinated against measles, pneumonia, rotavirus and polio (the four deadliest killers of children under 5) that they had a healthier shot at living past their fifth birthday and experiencing more “firsts.”
There is no doubt in my mind that life-saving vaccines are needed in the world.
Every 20 seconds a child dies from a disease that could have been prevented through immunization, which is an inexpensive global health solution to save lives. Healthcare in far to reach or developing areas can be ineffective at keeping a child alive in the event of severe diarrhea or pneumonia. A vaccination can work as a shield to protect a child from even contracting these diseases in the first place.
Today, and all this month, you have the unique opportunity to comment on #Blogust posts and help save lives. Walgreens will donate one vaccine to a child who needs it most in response to your comment on this post, those on all the #Blogust posts this month, as well as, any social media shares.
Please, give more children the chance to live past their 5th birthday, the chance to attend a global youth summit, the chance to single-handedly save marine life, the chance to make a positive impact on animal life and on others, the chance to ride a bus to the UN, the chance to live and be a kid. Join me in being a game changer. Help start the conversation to unlock life-saving immunizations!
During Shot@Life’s Blogust 2014—a month-long blog relay—some of North America’s most beloved online writers, photo and video bloggers and Shot@Life Champions will come together and share stories about Happy and Healthy Firsts. Every time you comment on this post and other Blogust contributions, or share them via social media on this website, Shot@Life and the United Nations Foundation pages, Walgreens will donate one vaccine (up to 60,000). Blogust is one part an overall commitment of Walgreens donating up to $1 million through its “Get a Shot. Give a Shot.” campaign. The campaign will help provide millions of vaccines for children in need around the world.
Sign up here for a daily email so you can quickly and easily comment and share every day during Blogust! For more information, visit shotatlife.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credits to the author.
This week I joined a group of World Moms Blog contributors who have been trying to live on $1.50 a day for 1 day. One day, turned into the full 5 day challenge for me, and today, Day 5, wasn’t what I expected:
Look out for our collaborative World Moms Blog post on the Live Below the Line Challenge with the Global Poverty Project coming soon…
Click to find out how to donate to UNICEF on behalf of Live Below the Line. Every dollar counts.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of NJ, USA.
A few months ago, the Live Below the Line of Poverty Challenge contacted World Moms Blog to ask if any of our contributors would like to take their challenge — 5 days of living on $1.50 per day.
According to the World Bank, there are over 1.2 billion people living below the line of extreme poverty in the world, which is defined as living on below $1.25 per day. The Global Poverty Project is challenging everyone to live on $1.50 per day to advocate for the world’s poorest. They state,
“We run Live Below the Line because we believe to really fight poverty, we’ve got to better understand it.”
Well, I had no idea what I was getting into. When the request came around cheerleaded by World Moms Blog Senior Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama, I joined in because some of our contributors REALLY wanted to do this. I remember my friend, Holly Pavlika of MOMentum Nation, completing the challenge several years ago before she left for Tanzania with Shot@Life. We were at a lunch for a Shot@Life Champion event in NYC, and she declined her lunch and chose to eat 2 boiled eggs instead. I, on the other hand, chose the salmon and asked if I could sneak her some. She explained that she wasn’t allowed to take hand outs on the challenge. I was intrigued…
So when the request to live on $1.50 a day came around, I said, “I’ll do it, but just for one day, not five.” Well, here I am on Day 3…
World Moms Blog Editor, Hannah Ashton, suggested that we pool our resources, my $7.50 for 5 days and her $7.50 for 5 days. The plan was that amount would buy enough food for 5 days, and then for the one day of our challenge we would eat a fifth of the food.
My rations included 1 bag of beans, 2 cups of white rice, 2 cups of flour, 1 small bag of carrots, 3 bananas, 5 packs of instant oatmeal with dried apples and cinnamon, 1 jar of tomato sauce, some green tea bags and two onions. We had 12 cents left over each, so we justified a pinch of salt and a tiny bit of oil from our kitchens.
I’ve been sharing my experience on my personal Facebook Page, and I’m going to show you what happened:
Live Below the Line Day 1
I had two portions of the beans and onions over rice, thinking that I could “anchor” my stomach by filling it. That evening, I had tea and a banana for dinner. But, I was so hungry when I went to bed.
Live Below the Line Day 2
The next morning I woke up, and realized that there is actually a lot of things I do for my kids in the morning, including making their breakfast, before I had mine. I was feeling really hungry while running around and getting the laundry started. When I finally made my way to the kitchen, I realized that my oldest daughter had eaten one of my banana rations. I stopped short.
“Noooooooo!!”, I thought.
But, that’s the point where the transformation began for me. It wasn’t just about feeling hungry, I began to think differently.
“So, this is how it feels for a mom living in poverty?” Her child is hungry, and so is she. I left the banana out within reach, so there was no time to cut and share it.
Next, I made my instant oats with boiled water. My children both wanted to try it. At home, they are used to oatmeal that we mix with flax-seed and a little mini chocolate chips to sweeten the deal with some milk. (For me on the challenge, the flax-seed, chocolate chips and milk were too luxurious today.) So, they were curious. I shared, although my stomach was growling, and since they weren’t doing the challenge, I thought I could direct them to their lovely 5 grain bread and melon. But, I thought, “Ok, keep it real. What would a mother in this situation have to do?” I let them try the oatmeal. They didn’t like it. Relief. I gobbled it up.
Ok, so I was joking. I really didn’t want to punch Steve, but you know what I mean! He actually wanted to join the challenge at the last-minute, but I told him that I only had rations for one. Maybe the idea was in my head that this could continue? In the meantime, I had to deal with him eating gourmet pizza, while I was chomping on beans.
So, at this point, I thought, “I’ll do it up through dinner. I’m hosting book club tonight, and there’s noooo way, I will be able to get through not snacking with my friends. Book Club is more like “Eat Club”. I was pretty sure that’s where my journey ended. Hey, that’s nearly a full day past what I said I’d do, right? But, I guess something in me didn’t want to stop, so I put the request out, “Do you think I should continue?”
One of my friends suggested that she thought I could do it, but why would I want to?? Her question was a pivotal part in my journey. The challenge was taking a new role. I spent the morning reflecting:
“I’m understanding in more detail things I have already learned, such as how during a trip to Uganda with the Shot@Life campaign, we learned that if a father bought a soft drink, that expense meant the family may go hungry. Last night I was just annoyed that my husband mentioned food. How would I have reacted if I was a mother in the situation with the soft drink in places in Uganda?? I’m understanding by feeling instead of just reading and seeing. The places this experience is taking my mind and my senses is what is keeping me going to want to learn more. I may never know what it’s like to live in extreme poverty, but this challenge is reminding me on another level of why eradicating extreme poverty should be a human priority.
Right now, it’s getting through it and feeling everything, then it will be, “What can I do about it?”.
Live Below the Line Day 3…
So, last night, I made it through Book Club. I had beans with onions and tomato sauce over rice for lunch and dinner. I was too hungry to snap a picture beforehand. I had my dinner later in the day, so I wasn’t hungry in the evening when all of the food was out. My friends were really supportive, nobody held me down and pushed guacamole down my mouth. They had a lot of questions, too.
It wasn’t until my friends left that I began to feel the hunger pangs. I quickly put everything away and left the dishes for the morning. I went to bed last night thinking, “How do people who make very little money in food service get through their day among all the food?”
The ability to understand advocacy on another level — feeling — is what has brought me to day 3 of what was supposed to be only a 1 day project.
I plan to continue to Friday for the full 5 day challenge, and also look out for an article about all the World Moms Blog contributors who are taking the challenge with Deborah Quinn from MannaHattaMamma in the UAE; Hannah Ashton, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama, and Polish Mom Photographer in the USA; Alison Fraser of Mom2Mom Africa in Canada; and Purnima Ramakrishnan of The Alchemist’s Blog in India. I’m curious to hear how the challenge went for them!
World Moms Blog wasn’t expecting to fundraise for the challenge, but after requests from friends on Facebook, we have created a World Moms Blog donation page on the Live Below the Line site. Donations made to our page there will benefit UNICEF, an organization whose great work I observed in Uganda with the Shot@Life campaign.
Want to have an in-body experience to help the world’s 1.2 billion living below the poverty line? How about joining the Live Below the Line challenge, too? Plan now to start between April 28th and May 2nd. There are site challenges in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Colombia.
You can help the World Moms Blog contributors with their challenge. Share this post to help us spread the word about our Live Below the Line challenge!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden in NJ, USA.