How we celebrated World Children's Day
Children ask the world leaders to provide a brighter future for kids
Young people, including children with disabilities, boys and girls living with HIV visited several embassies, the UN House and Ucell office on World Children's Day to speak about their issues, like quality education, safe spaces to learn and play, and environmental protection.
While meeting Helena Fraser, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, Tonu Grunberg, Ucell CEO and ambassadors children spoke about their daily lives, their dreams and inspirations.
“Today, we are asking leaders to commit to fulfilling the rights of every child now and for future generations, so that every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil his/her potential. It is time to put children first and recommit to children's rights in every policy,” said Sascha Graumann, Representative, UNICEF Uzbekistan. “It is also an opportunity for children to take over governments, businesses, educational institutions, media and other outlets to share their needs, aspirations and challenges, and have their voices heard,” he added.
World Children’s Day is commemorated each year on 20 November and marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a global day of action ‘for children, by children.’ World Children’s Day raises awareness for the rights of children all over the world. In Uzbekistan, several embassies and the UN provided a platform to children by listening to their voices.
When children met the Ambassador of Japan, they talked about protecting environment, including in the Aral Sea region. They also discussed the issue of preventing violence in educational institutions.
“Every child and young person has some sort of talent and it is a treasure. The most important thing is to identify your talent and work on it, day by day, for a great future,” said His Excellency Nobuaki Ito, the Ambassador of Japan.
Children took over the embassy of Switzerland and talked about the rights of vulnerable children. The conversations were around supporting children living with HIV. Young people emphasized on fighting stigma faced by the affected children.
Swiss Ambassador Olivier Chave talked about the government campaigns in his country to create awareness. Ambassador Chave expressed his hope that more conversations on the issue should continue.
“This is a really positive initiative. We have a tendency not to listen to kids’ voices, but we need to. For anyone who is a parent this dialogue starts at home. To see such articulate children today with clear views, who have come here to convey the messages they care so about, I find it inspiring,” he said.
At the Embassy of the UK, kids asked many questions to H.E. Chris Allan, the Ambassador of the UK about education, equal opportunities for girls in education and the workplace, and inclusive education. “We are big believers in children’s rights and in putting kids at the centre of decision making,” said Chris Allan, Ambassador of the UK to Uzbekistan.
“I’m really inspired by these children. The future is in their hands, and from what I have seen today, it is a bright one,” he added.
Children, at the embassy of South Korea talked about the importance of investing in youth and children’s participation. “Often adults think that children’s opinion may not be correct. However, it is necessary to listen to the children andpay attention to their opinions. We should not ignore their ideas and suggestions," said Mr. Kim Jaewoo, Adviser of the embassy of South Korea.
Children posed powerful questions to the senior representatives of the United Nations, who together contribute over $280 million to the United Nation’s support to the country.
“On world children’s day, we have a duty, not just a desire, to think about how we as the UN are supporting children to ensure that their future is a prosperous future, said Helena Fraser, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Uzbekistan. “Future, where education and skills prepare them for the world of work; and for the world of productive life and for becoming parents themselves to the next generation of children.”
In an innovative engagement, children urged Ucell, a telecom operator in Uzbekistan to put children on their business agenda. They took over the corporate office of Ucell and talked about employability of children from disadvantaged background. Management of Ucell has been supporting the rights of children in the country through several actions.
“There is always an opportunity to do something better. You are the future of the country and the planet,” said Tonu Grunberg, Ucell CEO. “And it is very important that your voice be heard, because you know what and how to do better for you. The future is in your hands, and we are doing our part.”
“Today has been a fantastic day for us,” said Nargiza Kutlieva, a school girl who participated in the events. We learned so much about education, young people’s health and wellbeing, and importantly, we shared our thoughts and ideas about the children’s future in Uzbekistan. It is great that out voices have been heard.”