Millions in Bosnia and Herzegovina celebrate CRC30 with UNICEF

"The least we can do is to take the children, their needs and rights seriously"

Kampanja #SlušajDijete za 30 godina Konvencije o pravima djeteta
05 December 2019

Through a series of related activities, UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina dedicated the whole of 2019 to commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

One of the main activities was the #SlušajDijete (Listen to the child) campaign. Running from 20 October to 25 November, it involved children interviewing celebrities and media personalities to help them bring the CRC even closer to the public and make it accessible to digital media audiences. In more than 30 videos produced by UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina and uploaded via social networks, in a series called "30 Days for 30 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child," well-known Bosnian athletes, musicians, influencers, young and experienced actors, TV personalities and the Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, shared their childhood memories. They spoke about others listening to them when they were children, what they wanted to become when they grew up, what they are doing now, and what they wanted for every child.

“We mobilized great support from across the social spectrum - children, schools, institutions, celebrities and media personalities. #SlušajDijete has given us the chance to say loudly and clearly that children are not only our future, but also the present,” said Rownak Khan, UNICEF representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Today, any of us can do something for the benefit of children. The least we can do is take the children, their rights, desires and needs seriously.”

Speaking with young interviewer Una, Amel Tuka, middle-distance runner and silver medalist at the World Championship in Doha, recalled his childhood dream. "When I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoon character. I watched Batman and Superman and I wanted to be a superhero. I would love to go back in time, feel the freedom of being a child, play and enjoy everything," he said.

"I wish for every child to feel loved, in first place by their families, and once they feel supported by their parents, they will bravely step forward," he added.

Actor Boris Šavija, while being interviewed by Teodor, said that his parents listened to his opinions as a child. "They did not disregard my wishes and desires and they always let me have the right to choose. I had very reasonable parents,” he said. “If I were to go back to my childhood, I would say to myself to use that childhood as much as possible, to play as much as possible and not to worry.”

Also contributing to the 30th anniversary commemoration were well-known YouTubers Braco Gajić and Cerix, who took over UNICEF's Instagram profile in the middle of the campaign and talked to children about important topics.

Another part of the yearlong advocacy effort was “A Child is a Child,” an event held on the 15th of November and prepared in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to focus on children on the move and their rights. The event was launched with “Tell Me...” a photo exhibit sponsored by UNICEF partner, Humanity in Action. The exhibit juxtaposed photographs of children taken in the 90’s (as provided by the War Childhood Museum in Sarajevo) with current UNICEF photographs of refugee and migrant children. The stories of children staying in migrant reception centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina were told through performance by children from the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy from Sarajevo, and the event was complemented by three exhibitions - a sales exhibition of works by children from migrant reception centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an exhibition photographs created during the "Tell Me ..." campaign, and an exhibition of the posters “A Child is a Child”, created for UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina by young artists and designers, participants of the Pop Up Sarajevo Student Design and Visual Communications Festival.

Elsewhere, on 20 November itself, the annual Children's Music Festival “Mali Kompozitor” (Little Composer) was held in Banja Luka, this year helping to mark 30 years since the CRC.

This happened on the same day as the Bosnia and Herzegovina Parliament discussed key recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

“The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the basic instrument for determining the legal framework and policies of the countries of the Parties to the Convention, which focus on addressing the issue of child rights. The cooperation with UNICEF is particularly important as it further contributes to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Agenda. - said Željko Komšić, Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Chairman, in a statement at the General Debate of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. On this occasion, he reaffirmed Bosnia and Herzegovina's commitment to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

UNICEF awarded the best media contributions for protection and promotion of the rights of the child. In addition to this annual tradition Viber stickers created by girls and boys from schools across Bosnia and Herzegovina have been launched to celebrate child rights.