UNICEF appeals for supporters to 'Teach Respect'
KUALA LUMPUR, 28 October 2011 – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is asking the corporates, schools and NGOs to support its latest mini campaign, ‘Teach Respect’, by helping to promote two new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in conjunction with Universal Children's Day 2011.
The 30-second PSAs in English and Malay will be officially released on 14 November on air and online (www.unicef.my), leading up to Universal Children’s Day which falls on 20 November 2011. The PSAs, produced by Story Me Studios, illustrate how children themselves unknowingly discriminate against other children who may be different from them, for example through name-calling and mimicry.
“Children’s opinions and actions are influenced by what adults and friends around them think, do and say. When they observe prejudice in a society, they may grow up believing that this is how life must be," said UNICEF Representative to Malaysia, Mr Hans Olsen. "This mini campaign calls all parents, teachers and adults in the community to teach children to respect other children, through education and more importantly, by example."
Right to non-discrimination
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has so far identified more than 50 grounds of discrimination against children based either on their identity or the identity of their parents. These include discrimination against gender, race, citizenship, family income, ability, and HIV status. Discrimination against these children may mean poking fun at them, or not allowing them to participate in activities.
The right to non-discrimination is a well-established human rights principle in international law including the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which Malaysia signed and ratified in 1995. The CRC specifies not just the rights of the child, but also his or her responsibilities to those rights – to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of others.
"It is our responsibility to ensure children develop positive attitudes and behaviour, and avoid using their power to bully, harass or discriminate against others," Mr Olsen highlighted.
Children respecting children
Corporates, NGOs and schools who wish to help all children live with respect can support UNICEF’s ‘Teach Respect’ mini campaign in many ways, including the following:
1. Provide free airtime and advertising space for the PSAs on info screens and digital billboards, etc.
2. Post the PSAs on corporate or NGO websites or Facebook pages with a link back to www.unicef.my
3. Dedicate special projects to ‘Teach Respect’ in schools.
“We need to raise awareness of a child’s right to grow up free of discrimination. Not only is it morally wrong, it can destroy childhood for children,” added Mr Olsen...............................................................................................
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