Celebrating World Children's Day: The kids are all right

  • Children
  • Monday, 20 Nov 2017

Today is World Children’s Day, a day to promote the welfare of children and encourage understanding between children all over the world.

World Children’s Day was established by the United Nations (UN) in 1954; five years later the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. In 1989, the organisation also adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The theme for this year’s celebration is #kidstakeover. Thousands of children around the world will raise their voices in solidarity with the world’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable kids. The aim is to get children the world over to come together to fight for their rights.

Across the globe, children will “take over” high-visibility roles to shine a spotlight on the most pressing challenges faced by their generation.

Star2.com, in collaboration with Unicef, invited children to voice their thoughts on issues that are important to them. Check out what they have to say.

Heidi Ilyana Azmyudin Raj

Heidi Ilyana Azmyudin Raj, 12: “Children’s Day is the day we can enjoy ourselves with everyone else, and also learn about our rights – the rights that we’ve had since birth. We should also learn how to treat boys and girls the same way and let them do the same things without it being frowned upon.”

Putri Damia Tasri Aslah, 13: “We need to cooperate with each other, help one another and be cheerful. In doing this, we will be happy, because this is our day.”

Falysha Maisara Mohd Aidilfamin Johanada, nine: “I got to go on FlyFM and talk about World Children’s Day, which was fun. I was a little nervous at the start, but once we started, the words just came to me.”

Joel Wee Nambiar, 10: “Adults need to know about children’s rights and what they could do so that they know they aren’t the only people on Earth and that we also exist.”

Putri Damia Tasri Aslah
Chang Yu Xuan
Falysha Maisara Mohd Aidilfamin Johanada

Chang Yu Xuan, 13:Kids can do many things in order to be taken seriously by adults, such as helping the needy, giving donations, or just simply having fun.”

Yusra Aser Abdallah, 16:I want to stand up for equality. I always hear about freedom for boys, but what about for girls? When can girls get their freedom? This is a serious thing. All girls have to do is housework! I understand parents are worried about issues such as kidnapping, but at least let girls do something they want. Girls should still be able to hang out.”

Priyanka Kurunathan, 17: “I sometimes feel that parents often make choices in a child’s life, for example their ambition and what not. Children should be free to choose because it’s their life.”

Mohamad Hasan Al-Akraa, 17: “My dream is to see the world in peace, no war, no hate and no violence. My dream is to rebuild my country Syria, after the war. I will rebuild my homeland.”

Shasmeethaa Nair, 17: “I feel that our voices, as young adults, are not looked at seriously when in truth we are the future leaders of the world. Our country has to progress from the traditional ideas of telling teens to keep quiet and be resilient. We are citizens of Malaysia, too, and we have equal rights just like adults, maybe not in the full capability but close enough. I also notice how women and girls are being placed second to boys which I personally feel isn’t right at all. We have seen female leaders in our very own country challenge the norm of the social status and excel in their chosen field.

Henry Ho Keng Soon, 17: “Acts of kindness can change one’s life.”

Cher Phoh Wen, 17: “The issue of racial and gender equality should be prioritised by UN. Embracing the differences between people should be emphasised to the younger generation for it is they who will inherit Earth.”

Yusra Aser Abdallah
Muhammad Haikal Syaiful Arief Syah
Shasmeethaa Nair
Henry Ho Keng Soon

Cher Phoh Wen
Adelle Barnaby
L. Ann Gie

Muhammad Haikal Syaiful Arief Syah, eight: “To have better education and make friends without comparing race.”

Mark Edward Felix, 17: “I just want to say that this survey is a very great idea where anyone who has done this will eventually care more for their/other children. I agree that children in Malaysia are sometimes mistreated, abandoned and abused. To be honest, my dream is to actually help those in need, especially children. I am a member of the Leo Club and have done many service projects and most of them are about promoting awareness on children’s issues. And also, I actually do want to be the head of the UN!”

Leticia Ann Lariche, 14: “There are plenty of ways to help improve the world for children and we should do everything that we reasonably can in our power. The world is horrifying right now, but it has the potential to be so much better. If we are determined and united, we will surely be able to give every child the rights they deserve, and have been robbed of for so long. I hope I won’t be proven wrong.”

Jovita Wong Yan Ting, 17: “The world is a beautiful place but humans are ruining it. Roads are getting wider, buildings are getting taller, but our minds are getting narrower. I believe that many of us feel worried when it comes to our future. I hope that people are aware and take action before it’s too late.”

Chean Sweet Chiao, 16: “I hope there is a more equal distribution of resources for all children all over the world. It simply isn’t right when some of us have more than enough while some don’t have any at all.”

Chean Sweet Chiao
Jovita Wong Yan Ting
Mark Edward Felix

Shamila Ibrahim, 17: “Dear Adults, why is it so hard for you to understand our feelings, our thoughts, our problems? We are naughty, we’re stubborn, we misbehave, we make mistakes all the time – just like you always say, ‘nobody’s perfect’. But why is it so hard for you to accept us the way we are, just like how we accept you? If you as adults have the right to speak out on something you don’t like, why don’t we as children have any rights to say or comment about the things that make us feel unhappy? Is that fair to us? Why don’t we have the rights like you adults do?”

Nur Alissa Zainudin, 17: “I want people to realise that mental health is important especially to teens and children.”

Adelle Barnaby, 10: “I would like cheaper piano classes and other classes, too, as well as books because now it is super expensive and not many of us can join as many classes as we want. Malaysia has very few community activities and quality libraries for children. Only the rich can afford to do more than one activity.”

L. Ann Gie, 16: “Every human being is born into this world the same way; from the uterus of a woman and into the world as a naked mammal, but why is it that so many people judge others based on their race, religious beliefs, sex, appearance and sexuality? Everyone who enters this world will leave in death, why don’t we live in a world of harmony and peace instead of ruining the minds of future generations?” – Compiled by S. Indramalar and Edmund Evanson

Nur Alissa Zainudin
Leticia Ann Lariche

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