Photo 17:27 24 Nov 2023

Kyiv unveils UN Convention on Children's Rights to ensure protection of Ukrainian youngsters amid war

Запрошені діти разом з Першою Леді України та представниками ЮНІСЕФ. Фото: ЮНІСЕФ

Children are the most likely to suffer during any conflict. Adults must teach them to stand up for themselves and not let anyone take away their most important rights.

The "Childhood 365: The Right to Be Yourself" event was dedicated to such principles. Rubryka attended the presentation in Kyiv.

What is the problem?

"Every child has the inherent right to life," says the main document on children's rights, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is the responsibility of adults, who sometimes neglect it, to ensure this right and provide proper conditions for life and development.

"My life was more about surviving than living," says Kyrylo Nevdokha, who spent his childhood in an orphanage. "The volunteers gave me faith that someone needed me, hugged me. But when they left, I would write the name of the volunteer I was most attached to on my arm or make a beaded bracelet with her name on it. Unfortunately, this connection was later broken, and the names on the bracelets often changed."

Kyrylo is now the head of the National Office for Children and Youth "DYIMO," promoting change and helping dozens of children because he believes they all have the right to a happy childhood.

Kyrylo Nevdokha. Photo: UNICEF

What is the solution?

UNICEF and First Lady Olena Zelenska presented the multi-format inclusive UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure that everyone has access to knowledge about their rights. The Convention is now available in audio, Braille, sign language, and dyslexia-friendly versions. You can find the whole version here.

The multi-format inclusive UN Convention on the Rights of the Child presentation. Photo: UNICEF

How does it work?

The event encouraged children and adults to learn about and respect their rights. Six teenagers from different Ukrainian cities shared their stories. Kyrylo from the Kharkiv region told about his difficult experience in an orphanage. Sofia from the Lviv region shared her schooling experience as a girl with a hearing impairment. Yaroslav from occupied Donetsk mentioned his forced displacement and living with a disability. Darya from Cherkasy talks about bullying at school, etc.

В'ячеслав Ялов. Фото: ЮНІСЕФ

Victoria Barylovska. Photo: UNICEF

Zelenska believes that by knowing human rights, each becomes bolder in his own actions.

"I'm not sure if all of you have read the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child when you were making your dreams come true. But I am sure that everyone should read it. All children should know their rights. And demand that adults fulfill these rights."

Olena Zelenska. Photo: UNICEF

Ted Chaiban. Photo: UNICEF

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Ted Chaiban was also invited to speak on how children are the first victims of the war in Ukraine, but Ukraine has much to hope for "as long as it has a future."

As of the morning of November 20, 510 children were killed in Ukraine during the full-scale aggression, and 1146 more were injured.

The self-proclaimed president of Belarus, Aleksander Lukashenko, may be involved in the forced deportation of several thousand Ukrainian children to the Republic of Belarus, says The Telegraph.

Since September 2022, about 2,150 Ukrainian children over six have been taken to four camps in Belarus. According to experts' forecasts, there may be 3,000 of them by the fall of this year.

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