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5th-grade student reporter describes their UN delegate project

Yasmine’s eyes are fixed on the piece of cloth in her hand, and she is carefully weaving the needle in and out. There are 30 such girls doing the same thing, in a big factory in a city in Bangladesh, earning two dollars a day. They don’t go to school. Their income is crucial for the survival of the entire family.

Many children, all over the world, like this, are not having their children’s rights fulfilled. From a two year old facing poverty in Europe, to an underage worker in a prostitution center in America.

In fifth grade this year, as a unit, we learnt about child rights, who protects them and why are they in place? We first asked ourselves: what are the children rights? The class researched on the convention of the rights of a child, and explored why they are important and who protects these rights. We learnt from the research that the Convention of the Rights of a Child is a list of 54 rights that a child has. Each and every country which is a part of the UN, has to make sure all these rights are provided. The rights are important because all of these rights make sure that the child develops correctly, and has a decent childhood, which will in-turn result into a good adulthood. We also learnt that there are multiple organizations world wide, and in our home countries, that support children rights.

After further research, it was time to present our learning. To do this, we each had to choose a right to focus on. Then, we answered the following questions: What do I do to protect this right, what does my family do to protect this right, what does the UN/UNICEF do to protect this right, what does CIS do to protect this right, and how is this right protected in my home country?

After filling out all these questions we moved on to create a presentation on these questions and any further learning. Everybody individually created and presented the slide-shows they made. We simulated a UN conference meeting by dressing up in our traditional attire. Every student’s presentation was different. For example, Sophia Rose talked about child trafficking in Denmark and highlighted the helplines that prevent trafficking. Annika talked about child abuse in Botswana and showed that about one in ten females and one in twenty males aged 13-17 experienced sexual voilence. I presented on child labour in India and explained about the prominent NGOs working to prevent child labour such as Bachpan Bachao Andolan and CRY(Child Relif and You.)

At the end of the unit we reflected on what we learnt. We learnt that there are many more rights than the right to have education. Also we saw how many children suffer even in our home countries.

This unit has enhanced everybody’s knowledge on child-rights. We learnt more about ourselves and our peers. As Nelson Mandela said “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children”. All children should be respected and treated well. We all should take action. We can donate money to organizations like UNICEF and WHO, who focus on helping children worldwide. As Benjamin Franklin said: “well done is better than well said”.

By Neel Dalela, Primary School student reporter