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Anna Ndiaye, 11, pupil in Dakar, Senegal "I will tell them to stop violence against chidlren"

© UNICEF/Senegal/2009/Shryock
Anna Ndiaye, 11, pupil at the Point E School in Dakar, Sanegal, calls for "an end to violence against children".

Dakar, Senegal, 20 November 2009 - As hundreds of elementary school children gathered, preparing for the celebration ceremony at Point E 2 School in Dakar, Senegal, Anna Ndiaye, 11-years-old, walked calmly through the crowd in a flowing yellow tunic with matching pants and a colourful headband wrapped around her short black hair.

Her school was hosting a premier event in Senegal for the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, an event coordinated by Senegal’s Ministry of Education, UNICEF and its partners, and other Senegalese government officials.

Before the festivities began and children climbed the stage to act out skits illustrating their rights and songs sharing their desires for the future, Ndiaye sat down with UNICEF to talk about what the celebration of children’s rights meant to her.

Question:  Why are we here today? 
Answer:  To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Question:  Why do we celebrate that Convention?
Answer:  So that parents all over the country know that their children have rights, and the parents need to respect those rights, and also to try to stop violence against children in Senegal.

Question:  Is violence against children an urgent problem in Senegal?
Answer:  Yes, there are a lot of children who suffer from violence all over.

Question :  Have you learned a lot about the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the past few weeks?
Answer:  Yes, for example, we learned a lot about the right to live with our parents, which is important. There are some parents who leave their kids right after the kids are born.

Question :  What are you going to do after today’s celebration? Are you going to continue to spread the word about the rights of children?
Answer:  Of course, I will tell others to respect the rights and stop violence against children. And I will share with other children about their rights.

Question :  What is the most interesting part of your day today?
Answer:  When I got to read the call to defend the rights of the children.

Anna lives in Dakar, and when she grows up, she wants to be a real-estate agent, just like her father.

By Ricci Shryock













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