International Day of Human Rights is celebrated universally on 10th December each year. On this day, pledges and policies are advocated to support equitable rights for all human beings, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender or socio-economic status.
As an early childhood development enthusiast, I always advocate for the rights of young children, including identity, health, education, nutrition, safety and protection, and responsive care giving.
This year’s theme is to ‘recover better – stand up for human rights’, reviewing critically from the childhood well-being practitioner’s lens. Globally, there is a need to accelerate investment for recovering childhood well-being and building a nurturing community in the post COVID-19 world.
Policies at the global level must include programmes that support holistic well-being of young children which provide a fair, accessible, equitable, and comprehensive care for our younger generations to come. This can be done by implementing well-defined human rights charter into action at micro level, and making policies which are child friendly and contextualized to meet individual needs of the children and their families.
Some practical strategies can ensure our valuable, committed, and responsive action towards human rights:
- Investing in the first 1000 days of human life to ensure a healthy start
- Delivering children with nurturing care components for thriving childhood i.e. health, nutrition, learning and stimulation, safety and protection and responsive care-giving
- Providing children ample opportunities to play and experience natural learning
- Saving climate and keeping it clean, safe and healthy
- Making health and education equitable and accessible to all regardless of their gender, age and socio-economic status
- Standing up against child labour, abuse and discrimination
- Becoming gender equitable
- Planning child friendly policies by ensuring participation of the beneficiaries in design thinking
- Strengthening systems to provide all possible avenues to young children and their families to access basic human rights
The day of human rights comes with many reflections and critical appraisal but also substantial responsibility on understanding the role we can play as caregivers, service providers, communities, governance and enthusiasts.
“Human rights is everyone’s right and everyone’s responsibility”