"Children are not toys" - Photo exhibition opens in Yerevan
YEREVAN, Armenia - 8 June 2009
UNICEF and the Armenian Parliament joined their voices today to send a message on the importance of respecting child rights.
The UNICEF Representative in Armenia and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia urged the public to make every effort to ensure that children fully enjoy their rights during the “Children Are Not Toys” photo exhibition organised with UNICEF’s support and under the auspices of the Armenian Parliament to commemorate 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“This exhibition is not just an opportunity to meet each other. In these photos you can also see children from orphanages. These children present the most vulnerable strata of our society. We should do our best to protect these children and their rights, so that they become full members of this society. I hope this event will help us to draw the attention of the society to this important problem”, Chairman of the National Assembly noted.
“This year we celebrate a milestone – 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the great legal and ethical instrument for promoting and protecting the rights of all children and the beacon that guides UNICEF in all its work”, UNICEF Representative Laylee Moshiri, said, adding that 20 years after its adoption the Convention will continue to be the guiding framework on how societies should treat their children.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child was among the first international documents along with Human Rights Declaration to be signed by Armenia, immediately after the country re-gained independence in 1991.
“The title of the photo exhibition is symbolic. Photos of children by Armenia’s renowned photographer Vigen Mnoyan send a powerful message that we cannot fashion our children after our desires, do with them whatever we want like we would do with toys, we must love our children and respect their rights,” UNICEF Representative stressed.
“Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to UNICEF for the fruitful and efficient cooperation we had in the last 15 years. This exhibition is an example of our cooperation. I am sure UNICEF will continue to promote child rights protection in Armenia, so that their rights for health and education are fully enjoyed”, Chairman of the National Assembly noted.
The “Children Are Not Toys” photo exhibition marks a start of a series of events to mark 20 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In addition to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, the photo exhibition will be on display in all major cities and towns of Armenia.
All those attending the photo exhibition are requested to bring with them toys that later on will be send to pre-schools and day-care centers in Armenia.
The exhibition will be officially closed on 20 November, the day of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly, in a solemn ceremony at the National Assembly of Armenia together with the launch of UNICEF’s flagship publication, the State of the World’s Children 2009.