On World Children's Day, raising the voices of all children

Publication date
Dana Khalid Safa, Student, Qatar
Two young girls write in workbooks at a shared desk in a classroom in Iraq

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What is a child? A child is the most delicate form of life, a child reflects a world still untamed by cynicism. Children are the most vulnerable and innocent forms of life on Earth, but do we treat them as if they are? Children have rights just as adults do yet, many find it hard to act accordingly. That’s why for this children’s day on November 20, 2023, we have decided to join the children’s voices as one to share what they are going through. From what we see on social media, children across the world get constant attention from their parents and everyone around them, but what about what isn’t shown? What about the children who aren’t displayed on screens, are they not children too?

The right to life

Everybody on Earth deserves a right to live, especially when young, but many don’t get to experience life due to global issues such as wars. Many look at the situation as the children's fault, which is completely atrocious since children have done nothing negative to this world to deserve their life being taken away from them in such a beastly manner. To add to this, children are being killed, enslaved, and tortured for simply being human. And there are the children in this world who go missing without a trace all over the world who are reported as missing or runaways, not taking into account the chance that they are victims of homicides or kidnapping. The right to life is the most important right of all because all other rights follow.

The right to education

While we tend to assume such basic needs such as education are being provided to each child, we turn a blind eye to the children who lack proper education, which some might argue is worse than death, because what is life with no knowledge? What can any child possibly do or achieve without having proper access to good education, not to mention any education? In many countries across the world, we find lack of education common, such as in Niger where up to 3 in 10 of young people are uneducated due to insufficient funding and a lack of proper teachers. This is one of the many examples of why we mustn’t disregard the child’s right to education.

The right to health

If you have ever gotten injured, then you know the procedure of leaving home, going to the hospital, and getting yourself checked out. In some countries, even those born with life-threatening disabilities are not able to live to see a hospital or a doctor because of how poor their living situation is and that leads to the death of many. You may look at that and say, “Well it isn’t my fault,” but look again, and you will see the way a single human like you can influence the world for so much better by making a change through getting educated about children’s rights and becoming an activist for them.

The right to a safe shelter 

Many of us complain if our room isn’t big enough or if our bed doesn’t fit all our stuffed animals. Meanwhile, there are humans like you and me who are forced to live, sleep, and eat on the streets because of the illegal stealing of houses, or the constant bombing in war zones that leave everywhere completely turned on its head, and governments that refuse to take accountability for what they have done.

These are  the reasons why we need to speak up for children’s rights, especially in war-torn countries where even the most simple and overlooked thing one can have—life—is shattered. Now we must think, “Am I helping, or am I the problem?” If you think your uneducated silence is better than choosing to educate yourself and speak about topics of such importance then, you must choose to do the right thing.

Dana Khalid Safa is a 14 year old student who was born and raised in Qatar where she attends Hafsa Preparatory School For Girls. Dana is originally from Palestine, and says“Even though I have never been there, I think it’s a very beautiful place.”