TLC Celebrates International Children’s Day – 5th June 2011
This Life Cambodia celebrated International Children’s Day at Siem Reap Prison on Wednesday, June 1st. Learning their rights, seeing Apsara performances, participating in games, singing and dancing to music, children enjoyed their time celebrating this holiday.
Stemming from the devastation left in the wake of World War II, International Children’s Day has been recognized and celebrated around the world. The holiday holds special meaning for Cambodia, which suffered 1.7 million lives lost under the genocidal regime of Pol Pot.
For the 62nd anniversary of International Children’s Day, TLC’s This Life Beyond Bars program organized a celebration for 86 child prisoners, 6 children of convicted mothers, and 20 children of prison staff in partnership with Legal Aid Cambodia and the prison. TLC assistant director, Sen Se, and representatives of Legal Assistance of Cambodia, LICADHO, and the Deputy Director of Siem Reap provincial court gave speeches on the importance of child rights, even for children in prison. One brave convicted minor also spoke on behalf of all the children present.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights donated books for the prison library, and the three NGOs provided sleeping mats, mosquito nets, toiletries, notebooks, pens, medical supplies and food to the children.
The holiday is a time to remember the rights of children. The United Nation General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Today, 191 countries have ratified the convention protecting the rights of children worldwide. Cambodia became a signatory in 1992, committing itself to protecting and supporting children’s rights.
The main rights of the child are: the right to the highest standard of health, medical care and appropriate shelter; the right to physical, mental, spiritual and social development; the right to protection against abuse, exploitation, discrimination and ignorance; and the right to participate in social activities and the freedom of expression. TLC believes it has the responsibility to give special attention to children in hopes of creating good citizens who have the capacity to benefit future generations of society.
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