Article 31 and the Importance of Play.

Play is an essential part of every child’s life and throughout most of the history; kids have spent hour after hour playing. I read somewhere that a child have played 15000 hours during the first 6 years of his life.

Play is instinctive and not just for human children – all young mammals play. This shows how important it is to development.

Play ensures the maximum potential development of every child and play stimulates creativity, fantasy and is important to the emotional, cognitive, physical development of the whole child and is crucial for the development of the brain structure.

Through play children can explore their world, practice adult roles and play also improves children’s social skills by helping them to learn how to work in groups, to share, to negotiate, to resolve conflicts.

In play children learn the skills that are essential to lifeskills that cannot be taught in a more formal, structured environments.

In every way, play is a practice for life.

Play is so important to optimal development of a child that it has an article (31) of its own in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Article 31

  1. States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
  2. States Parties shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity.

 

General Comment on Article 31

The UN General Comment on article 31(General Comment 17) was adopted by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on Friday 1st February 2013.

The purpose of a general comment is to widen and deepen understanding of a particular aspect of the Convention and to reflect the changing conditions under which children grow up. The General Comment is an official document that clarifies for the governments worldwide the meaning and importance of article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and clearly defines the responsibilities of governments that have signed the Convention . The General Comment will provide guidance to the States Parties and raise awareness of the importance of play in the everyday lives of children worldwide.

This general comment puts the spotlight on article 31 and provides ammunition to revisit and advocate for the child’s right to play.

The General comment was produced to address the concerns the Committee had over the poor recognition given by States to art.31 based on the reviews of the implementation of the UNCRC. International Play Association IPA took a lead role in the development of the General Comment.

Click on the link and read the whole General Comment http://ipaworld.org/childs-right-to-play/article-31/general-comment-17/

IPA is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961 in Copenhagen and its purpose is to protect, preserve and promote children’s right to play as a fundamental human right, according to the Article 31 of the UNCRC

IPA has national organizations in many countries both in Europe and outside of Europe. IPA member groups initiate a wide variety of projects that promote the child’s right to play like seminars, conferences, research, publications and Play Days.

Click on the link to visit IPA website http://ipaworld.org/

Play is a fundamental right and a very important part of a children’s life.

Play is the work of children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child part 2

Playtime Seychelles promotes UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We have published two story books for children about the UNCRC in creole. The books have been donated to Seychelles National Library and they can also be read on our website and downloaded for free.

One book for small children ”Sa pti lapen” (The little rabbit). This little story can be affiliated to UNCRC and can be used as a discussion with the children about their rights.

With the book come a set of pictures. The pictures are affiliated to the book and can be used both by adults and children to tell the story. Small children need to repeat for their understanding and they love to do it. It can also be a good material for discussion in smaller groups.

One book for elderly children “Nou annan en keksoz pou dir!”     (We have something to say!) and it is affiliated to articles 2, 6 and12.

Playtime Seychelles has also created a box with introduction material for small children about the UNCRC that we called “Play and learn your rights.” The content of the box is an introduction to the UNCRC for small children to learn about their rights in a play full way.

A poster for the classroom wall in easy read Creole

A teacher guidance how to work with the rabbit story, the mobile and discussion question for both small and eldery children.

The mobile material is for the small children to work with in small groups together with an adult. The material opens up for discussion about their choices and rights. Tip: make an exhibition out of the mobiles and invite parents, relatives and siblings. Let the children guide the exhibition.

 

 

The Un Convention of the Rights of the Child for adults.

About the Box

Free Downloads

Click to download PDF

Click to download PDF We have something to say!

 

Click to download PDF The little rabbit

 

 

 

 

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

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The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child often abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC is a human rights treaty dedicated to children and was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989.

But the idea that children should have rights goes much further back than 1989. Already in the beginning of 20th century some activist started to promote the idea that children should have rights.

In the aftermath of 1 World War, Eglantyne Jebb the founder of Save the Children wrote the draft of the declaration on the Rights of the Child and together with others she campaigned for the first International declaration on the Rights of the Child adopted by the League of Nations in 1924, the United Nation adopted an expanded version of the declaration 1959. During the International Year of the child 1979 Poland proposed that it should be a convention for children.

During the next 10 years countries around the world debated and negotiated the text to what should become the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world.

UNCRC is an international Human Rights agreement based on the three core principles of human rights Dignity, Equality and Respect. UNCRC sets a global rights agenda for every person under the age 18 years old.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a legally-binding international agreement, setting out the civil political economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.

Nations that ratifies UNCRC are bound to it by international law; ratifying states must act in the best interest of the child.

The UNCRC describes the obligation state parties have to all children living within its border. The convention is wide reaching and covers many aspects of children’s lives.

States have the responsibility to create the legislation and policy framework, and provide resources, so that UNCRC can be realized.

Rights are described as articles and there are 54 articles in the Convention. There are 4 articles that apply across all other rights in the Convention.

The other rights can be categorized into 5 categories

Children under 18 years of age are Rights holders.

Duty bearers are those defined as having obligations under the CRC for respect, protection and fulfillment of children’s rights. Government and everybody that works or act on the behalf of the Government such as teachers, police , social workers, judges health care workers etc. are the duty bearers and are responsible for realizing the rights of all children.

That means that duty bearers must consider and apply the provision of the convention in all aspects of their work that defect children, respect, protect and fulfill all the obligations that they have signed up for. For example if there is a culture of bullying on a school the school have to take appropriate action so all children can feel safe and learn.

The monitoring body of the UNCRC is the Committee on the Rights of the Child and  was established by the UNCRC. The Committee is an independent body of 18 experts elected by the State Parties. State Parties must submit a progress report every five year and their assessments are supplemented with information from other organizations like NGOs and children’s Commissioner and children can also submit evidence to the committee.

The Committee enters into “constructive dialogue” with states, and the output from the whole process is a report called the Concluding Observations and it summaries the Committees view on the status of UNCRC in the country. The report also contains recommended measures  to be taken by the state and also includes implementation and improvement recommendation to each individual country, which will be reviewed next time the state is examined.

The Committee has no way of enforcing its views, but the open reporting process makes states publicly and internationally accountable.

Two optional protocols were adopted on 25 May 2000.

The first Optional Protocol restricts the involvement of children in military conflicts, and the Second Optional Protocol prohibits the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

Both protocols have been ratified by more than 160 states.

A third Optional Protocol relating to communication of complaints was adopted in December 2011 and opened for signature on 28 February 2012. It came into effect on 14 April 2014.

There has always been a long standing focus on protecting vulnerable children from suffering as a charitable response, with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child children no longer have to rely on charity or kindness to meet their needs. Full implementation of UNCRC insures children the entitlement to that Equality, Dignity and Respect is upheld.

To be continued.