Leave no child behind – The rights of children

“If the soul of a society can be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members, then by a similar measure, a society’s future, and its long term prospects for sustainable growth, stability and shared prosperity can be predicted by the degree to which it provides every child with a fair chance in life.” Human rights are inherent to all, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, social –economic status, gender, sex, color, race and language.

Children’s rights are human rights. The rights of children should be respected regardless of their age. Many children today have their rights violated due to many factors such as conflict, socio-economic status, gender and others traditional and cultural values of their societies. Children require access to quality education so as to assist them in securing a future in which they can provide for their families as well as contribute to the growth of the society. Unfortunately, many children today do not have access to quality education. Education is very important in eradicating poverty. There is need to focus on the most vulnerable in society if as a community we are to move forward.  A huge part of the world population are children. For these children to have a better future, for them to be responsible and effective  leaders of the community, they need to have access to education, quality health access to ensure proper mental and physical health, food and clean water to mention a few.  According to the UNICEF The state of the World’s children 2016 report, unless the world tackles inequity today, in the year 2030, 167 Million Children will live in extreme poverty, 69 million children under the age of 5 will die between the year 2016 and 2030 and 60 million children of primary school age will be out of school. Equity involves fairness and opportunity, a fair chance for every child.

It is evident that many governments have taken the role of ensuring that the rights of children are respected and are working to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are met. But there is yet a huge role to be played by each and every individual in our community. We need to understand what equity is and who is left behind in the process of trying to achieve sustainable development. What role can we as young leaders play in ensuring equity? The need to provide a fair chance for each and every child must be a target for each and every community globally. Leave no one behind.

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