Reflections on CRC Article 31

Every child has the right to rest, relax, play and to take part in cultural and creative activities.

Laksmi Pamuntjak
Children playing at an ECD Centre in Bogor, West Java
UNICEFIndonesia/2017/Purnomo
01 November 2019

Eat, play, love. The three things they say children need the most.

They say food is key, you are what you eat. They say our brain needs food, it’s the first of our organs to absorb nutrients from what we eat. They say the ways that the brain develops during the first 1,000 days of life are the bedrock to our future: they determine how we think, feel, act, plan, taste and remember. “How the brain begins is how it stays.”

They say play is key; a recent study shows that stunted children in poor families who get vitamin supplements and much play time steadily for two years are able to catch up with non-stunted children. When children play, they’re not just playing. They are learning as they play. They are learning how their bodies work. They are also learning how to interact with others: to share, collaborate, negotiate, compromise, resolve conflicts, and assert themselves. And with play comes rest—they are two sides of the same coin. “Today, I am a child, and my work is play.” Play is joy; it allows children to be children.

They also say love is not all; it is not a house nor a toy, it is not food, nor drink nor medicine. But love is paramount, for without it there is no nurture. It is what makes for the closeness between children and their caregivers; it is what makes eat, play and rest possible. Love, after all, is the wellspring that sustains, the fount whence all goodness spring.


Though these reflections were inspired by the accompanying photographs, the texts do not describe the life or story of any person depicted within them.


 

Convention on the rights of the child
UNICEFIndonesia/2018/ShehzadNoorani

In 1989, governments across the world promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Convention says what countries must do so that all children grow as healthy as possible, can learn at school, are protected, have their views listened to, and are treated fairly.

As part of Indonesia’s celebrations in November 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of the CRC, UNICEF asked Indonesian author Laksmi Pamuntjak to help us envision some of these CRC articles. Inspired by photos and images from our database, and working with our programme specialists, Laksmi created 15 fictional texts on some of the most relevant articles for the Indonesian context.

Though these reflections were inspired by the accompanying photographs, the texts do not describe the life or story of any person depicted within them.