Protecting children's rights is one of the cornerstones of human rights. Around the world, there are children being exploited and mistreated. Aseil Al-Shehail, former vice-chair to the committee on the rights of the child CRC, is heavily involved in advocating for children's rights. She has worked for the United Nations in New York, spreading the word about children's rights and the changes that need to be made.
Children's rights are an integral part of family rights. A compassionate society regards its children as valuable human beings, ensuring that they are fed, educated, and given proper medical care. In some countries, this mission is difficult to accomplish. The United Nations and other multinational organizations intercede to provide their expertise and to support families in disadvantaged areas.
Problems Faced by Children
In some countries, children are not privileged with basic human rights. Child labor laws may not always protect children from exploitation. Children may be trafficked, and they may have certain health and safety needs that are overlooked.
Access to education is one of the greatest challenges faced by the world's children. While free and accessible public education is available in most countries, the developing world still has a long way to go. In these countries, children may need to walk miles to a schoolhouse or may have no access to education at all. Since literacy is one of the major components of workforce readiness, these children will often be deficient when they are adults.
Female education is especially vulnerable in many countries. Young females are not always encouraged to attend school. This is due to religious restrictions, social restraints, or poverty and the family's need for survival. Understanding the circumstances relating to proper female education is an element of Aseil Al-Shehail's mission.
Organizations Supporting Children
The following organizations promote children's rights through a variety of initiatives:
The largest agency promoting children's health and welfare around the world is the United Nations Children's Fund or UNICEF. UNICEF and its local partner agencies have made a significant difference in the lives of underprivileged children. The mission of UNICEF is to protect children's rights, to help satisfy basic needs, and to expand opportunities. UNICEF is involved in diverse areas such as child protection, survival, education, applicable social policies, and emergency aid.
Child Rights International Network
Another agency involved with children's rights is the Child Rights International Network. This organization is a think tank that promotes children's rights through research and advocacy. Their goal is to let children be recognized as individuals with distinct human rights. They also seek justice for rights violations affecting children.
Children's Defense Fund
The Children's Defense Fund operates within the United States. This organization promotes literacy, academic enrichment, and addresses the needs of disadvantaged children. They are involved with reducing child poverty, promoting good health, protecting child welfare, enhancing early childhood development, and promoting justice for young people. The Children's Defense Fund also promotes gun violence prevention.
International Bureau for Children's Rights
The International Bureau for Children's Rights is an international organization that promotes children's rights in the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The organization works with social workers, defense forces, staff in the judicial system, and other bodies to develop and implement child-friendly practices. Their particular focus is on emergency situations, violence and exploitation, and children's interactions with the justice system. The agency performs research and supports local stakeholders with the information, tools, and resources that they need to advocate for in order to increase children's rights.
What Supporting Children Means
Supporting children is part of a belief in a better future. Children's welfare organizations may have different ideologies, but they are all dedicated to making life better for the youngest members of society. Children should not have to suffer needlessly from disease, hunger, or a lack of education.
Helping Children Grow
All of these organizations have a role to play in ensuring children's legal and human rights. When children's rights are neglected, the population can suffer for generations. Children need to be fed, given clean water, educated, housed, and protected from exploitation. Their parents also need to be informed about their children's needs and, in some cases, need to be educated themselves.
Aseil Al-Shehail has been a major voice for children through her worldwide advocacy. Through her work with the United Nations, she has been involved at the highest levels. Now as an independent consultant Aseil Al-Shehail will continue to provide support to international organizations that help to safeguard every child's basic human rights.
WRITTEN BYBrand Voices