Promoting the rights of children on World Children’s Day

First established 64 years ago, World Children’s Day is celebrated annually on 20 November with the aim of promoting international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide and to improve children’s welfare.

This year has been challenging for all, with a pandemic that has changed the way we live for people all around the world. The United Nations has reported that COVID-19 ‘has resulted in a child rights crisis’ and that ‘the costs of the pandemic for children are immediate and, if unaddressed, may last a lifetime’.

As an organisation that provides support to the children’s services sector, Antser is committed to delivering improved outcomes for children, young people and their families, and we do this by combining our expertise with innovative technology, human centred solutions and expert advice and guidance to those working in the sector.

So, for this reason, World Children’s Day is something we fully support and want to promote to ensure that this year especially, every child has the right to survive and thrive.

Children deserve the right to be children and enjoy positive life affirming experiences. For children and young people in care, they face many adversities which create a unique set of individual needs. Despite these circumstances, it is crucial for children in care to thrive and have access to a wide range of activities and education which in turn will build their self-esteem.

Our Independent Visitors play a crucial role for these children and young people as they provide impartial support, befriending, and expose children to new opportunities. They are a positive role model and can be a significant resilience factor. We know that fun and positive experiences have a hugely important role to play in healthy brain development and this is particularly important for children in care as they navigate through change and often complex emotions.

Sadly, we know that children and young people that are exposed to Adverse Childhood Experiences will have an increased number of health and behavioural issues, and research also suggests that *45% of looked after children are diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Despite this, we also know that when professionals working with children are able to take a trauma informed approach and create mentally healthy places, it is proven to provide positive results in the attainment achieved by ALL children.

We work with professionals in many different ways and our VR programme enables practitioners to truly see a child’s view of the world in a fully immersive experience.

We still have a way to go to secure the rights of all children across the world to a high-quality education but today, according to UNICEF, “more children and young people are enrolled in pre-primary, primary and secondary education than ever before. However, for many of them, being at school does not lead to key learning and a lack of training, inadequate learning resources, makeshift classes and poor sanitation facilities make learning extremely difficult for many.”

Children are our future and all children around the world need to be reassured that they can be whoever they want and achieve whatever they want. There should be no limitations and barriers are made to be broken!

So, let’s ensure that every child around the world has the most positive childhood experience possible and keep making changes that are child centred – enabling all children and young people to know their rights and to thrive and survive.

*McAuley, C. and Davis, T. (2009)

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