Tuesday, June 19, 2012

20th June World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day and there will never be a better day to focus on children, their needs and why they shouldn't be in detention centres. As Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in his comment for today:

"...Despite budget constraints everywhere, we must not turn away from those in need. Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help."

When we look at a book such as Amnesty International's We Are All Born Free and see the inspiring artwork by many well-known children's book illustrators that has been used to illustrate each of the United Nations' Rights of the Child, we can't help but feel very privileged to have the life we have and to see that every child needs to live a good unencumbered life. If you don't have this book to share with your children, your library may have Unicef's For Every Child which also introduces children to their rights.

If neither of these books is available, look for a picture book such as Brigitte Weninger and Eve Tharlet's A Child is a Child which stresses for readers that it doesn't matter whose child you are, you still have the right to a family, care and comfort. In the story Mama and Papa frog are missing and the baby frogs are scared and alone. Mr. Mole, Mr. Hedgehog, and Mrs. Blackbird don’t know what to do. Then along comes Mrs. Mouse with her five babies, and she says she’ll look after the froglets. The adults remind her that mice and frogs are different, to which she replies: “A child is a child.” She sends Mr. Hedgehog for some worms, Mr. Mole to dig a burrow, and Mrs. Blackbird to fetch a bathtub-waterbed for the little orphans. In no time, the froglets are happy and playing with their new mouse siblings. While this is simplistic, and some preschoolers might be worried about parents who don't come home, in a discerning teacher's hands this story offers hope and shows children that even if children look different, behave differently or come from somewhere else, they have the same needs as them.

1 comment:

  1. When I use these I show the children a set of photos of kids living in very different life situations to theirs. We make a list of basic rights and without exception every time I do this the students never think of disabled children. Then we read these books which I love because each illustrator has their unique interpretation of the "right".