Message by Mahtab Keramati, UNICEF Iran Goodwill Ambassador
Twenty years has passed since the day the Convention on the Rights of the Child was ratified. Twenty years that the world has started to look at children differently; to see them as human beings and holders of their own rights. It is now twenty years that if a child cries out of hunger, if a bomb ruins the safe and sound homes of children, if a child works instead of attending the school, if a child is deprived of access to health services, if a child is neglected or abused by its very own parents, the world unanimously says that his/her “rights” are violated.
It is important to understand after all these years that we do not own children or pity them; they have rights. These rights should be recognized and respected. Each and every one of us is responsible to make sure that all children enjoy a quality life from the government officials to the civil society, communities, schools, media and parents.
There is nothing more comforting than a child’s smile in the world; that fresh innocent sparkling look in their eyes that build the future of our society. I have seen moments that the simplest helps and considerations have changed a child’s future dramatically; moments when just the simple act of rising hands of the MPs or cabinet members changes the quality of the life of a lot of children; when a collective initiative in a neighborhood or among the members of an NGO fills the hearts of children with hope and happiness. Let’s seize the day, tomorrow is very late, let’s unit for the children of Iran!