Children's Rights and Participation
We think children and young people should be involved in all areas of their lives: family, education, skills, community, services, environment, spirituality and health. Awake to the challenges and opportunities all around them.
History of children's rights
In 539 B.C. the armies of Cyrus the Great, the first king of ancient Persia, conquered the city of Babylon but it was what happened next that changed society. He freed the slaves, declared that all people had the right to choose their own religion, and established the first know society with racial equality. These and other decrees were recorded on a baked-clay cylinder known today as the Cyrus Cylinder. It is recognized as the world’s first charter of human rights. It is translated into all six official languages of the United Nations and its provisions parallel the first four Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
From Babylon, the idea of human rights spread quickly to India, Greece and eventually Rome and later had parallels in documents asserting individual rights, such as the Magna Carta (1215), the Petition of Right (1628), the US Constitution (1787) and many of today’s human rights documents including The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Our vision for children's rights
Is can be tempting to see rights one dimensionally – from only one perspective. If simply see human rights as good for my group – as things that we are entitled to – we can set about grabbing them or demanding them and miss their power to transfor our society, our communities, our lives.
The Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda said Human rights will be a powerful force for the transformation of reality when they are not simply understood as externally defined norms of behavior but are lived as the spontaneous manifestation of internalised values. At youth friendly we try to develop resources, documents and information that nurtures a culture of respect, of love, of compassion that expresses itself in voice – participation. We want to challenge the perspective where lines are draw by people militantly demanding their rights at the expense of community and compassion.
Children and young people are a wonderful contribution to their families, comunities and to society where in-turn we can nurture, protect and inspire them to grow and become all they are creaated to be. We want them to enjoy the opportunity of learning about and valuing their rights in a safe and positive way.