When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted back in 1948, was it formed on the principle of respect for the individual and that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” – Article 1 of the UN Convention on the human Rights. But does it include the rights of children in a refugee camp too? And what about there rights in a divorce, childcare setting or in a forcible removal proceeding? Not to forget children’s health and safeness in a refugee camp? How is it going with them and who are protecting their rights? Is it the parent’s responsibility – or which rights do parents have in the mentioned areas?
Well according to the article 25 &26 of the UN Convention on human Rights – have all human beings the right to a good life, in which includes food, shelter and free primary school scholarship. So such things as the rights to food, shelter, education, protection etc. sounds very delight -right?
Even though Human rights are universal and applies to all human beings I keep questioning myself – if people have the right to food and shelter – why are 16.000 children dying of starvation every day? One every five second!
If people have freedom of speech – why are thousands in prison for speaking their mind? If people have the right to education – why are over 1 billion adults unable to read?
Does it mean that the human rights aren’t universal? As matter a fact no. The thing is, when the universal declaration of human rights was signed it did not had the force of law, it was optional. Well that sounds fair right? So the question is still who will make those words into a reality? Officially it’s the local and national authorities responsibility, to not only protect the human rights but also to ensure that the rights of children and parents are carried into effect. If that so, how is then going with the human rights in the worldwide? What kind of issues are the most developing countries dealing with regarding the rights of children vs. parents?
The more I rotating around this subject with all my questions and thoughts, the more I got excited for my participation in the project. Well to begin with, Tenna Poulsen and I got the opportunity by Serhat – the leader of Danish Intercultural Organization (DIO) to participate in a youth exchange project in Czech republic. The theme of the project was “The rights of children versus parents”.
Since it was my first time to participate in a EU youth exchange project I kept my expectations low to not get disappointed. It might sound a little crazy but I simply have a life philosophy that says: Life is much easier the lower expectations gets. Therefore were my expectations unusual. Still I got pleasantly surprised for not only how well organized the whole project was but also the participating countries’ presentations regarding the topic.
Beside DIO were the other partner organizations from Norway, Jordan, Turkey, German, Bulgaria and Czech Republic. At the 1st October did all participants meet in Penzion Poledníku hotel, which was located in the heart of Jindřichův Hradec. The city is known for its beautiful and historical old view. So the next 8 days we did not only exchange experiences and knowledge during social activities, presentations, workshops, discussions etc. – but we also had rich opportunities for exploring the city and Prague.
For the best part of my experience was that I not only improved my knowledge about the topic – but furthermore I also gained a deeper understanding of myself and people around me and their cultures; I learned in a way that books, school assignments never can reveal, which especially became clear for me during the Jordan presentation. Before this project I didn’t know anything about Jordan but somehow I still imagined Jordan as a political unrest country. Unexpected I got a “real eye-opener” when I heard about Jordan’s caring of refugees kids. It suddenly became clear that refugee kids have more rights in Jordan than a democratic country such as Denmark. Even though the living condition is better in Denmark, in Jordan refugee kids have more rights taking Jordan’s situation into consideration.
In regard of my huge amount of questions and thoughts, it became clearer to me, what sorts of issues the other represented countries are dealing with. This for sure would not have been possible for me without the opportunity to participate in such a project with lots of nationality, which really colored the project.
By Nilofer Abbasi