In this assignment we requested the students of 16 countries in the 5 Learning Circles to write a paper to UNICEF,
By giving and receiving feedback to and from three peers we asked each student to critically think and learn together. Collaborative learning in a Learning Circle allows students to learn and work together; the diversity in their countries and backgrounds creates a rich learning environment.
Hundreds of students joined in this amazing process of peer learning with their global classmates.
The tool they used is called peerScholar.
We are thrilled to be able to show you a selection of these wonderful and impressive letters.
student 1, Aabla (17):
I am writing this letter to tell you about the right to say one’s own opinion. Every child has the right to say his or her opinion, but the responsible people in each country have to take it into consideration. As we can see that a lot of children have different problems and illnesses due to the lack of expressing their opinions and views. They are deprived the right to express themselves. Imagine if all countries give the right to children to voice their thoughts, beliefs, and problems. There will be less problems that face our children in the world. I have chosen to talk about this right to be added among the children’s rights because I see many children all over the world are lacking this right. For me, if you express your opinion, then you participate in the change of your world.
student 3, Mahjouba (16):
Learning Circle Children’s Rights taught me a lot of positive things from the challenges and the topics. I did learn how to search about a project. It taught me how to write and learn from my mistakes. It taught me how to do an interview and a lot of things, because that was the best project I have ever had the chance to participate in.
The children right that I want to talk about is ‘to be curious’. I would like to add this right to your menu if you want with all my respect. I think the curiosity is so necessary for the children to build an advanced society and to give the kids an occasion to discover themselves. Also, to know how to search about some good things to add to their mind, and to ask and talk.
student 1, Alexandra:
Due to the project tasks and project partners I’ve learnt a lot. The most important thing is to know the own rights and now I can share my knowlendge with peers not just at school or in my city but even visiting other countries. Now I feel more confident and experienced!
When I was asked to think of a new right for children, I didn’t really need much time for it. I consider that the most important right for children is “The Right for a Childhood”. I strongly believe that all the children must be happy in their childhood having all the necessary things for discovering the world by playing.
student 2, Tatiana:
The project Learning Circle is a great opportunity to feel the world around with native speakers’ eyes. I’ve read the partners pages with interest. I’ve got the information about the life styles in the project countries. Also with “Learning Circle” I worked for a long time and very carefully, this project gave me a lot, now I know a lot about child labour and children’s rights. Moreover, I researched about wars, it was so difficult for me, but it was very useful …
I guess this “Right of a Piece of Advice” certainly should be included into the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Some parents don’t take into account their children’s opinion, because adults think their children are too young to tell them something worthwhile. But I’m sure that kids are not yet spoiled with the world and adults have to take into account their views. Kids are just kids; they can’t lie or hurt people who love them and take a good care of them. Children should have the right to speak out.
Please, remember – children are wiser than adults.
There is a short story that can be a great example of my idea. One day someone asked a little boy about the meaning of Real Love and his answer was “Yesterday I gave my sweater to one girl, she wore it, but it was me who felt so warm”. I really think children should have the right to be taken into account, to be heard, who knows what a kind of wise idea can be made with their kindness, sincerity and trust.
Kid’s soul is a universe full of secrets.
student 12, Yassi (11):
Children’s rights are important like not working in tobacco factories or mines but all the problems with the kids is because the kids can not do things adults can do. Those children’s rights are important but all the children rights lead up to being a kid. Being a kid should not be a punishment it should be fun, like being able to go outside, having fun, going to school, having an education. All this leads up to being a kid and kids should not be fighting in the war and trying not stand on landmines, kids should be able to play and be kids. Kids would be happy, cheerful if you just let them be kids and be who they want to be and if this right does not work the children will stay unsafe. That is why I think we should have the right to be a kid.
student 17, Carmen (11):
Children have a lot of needs. They need water, food, air, shelter, and many more. They should have one more right. The right that I think should be a children right is to have friends or someone who they can talk to. Every child should have friends. Friends do a lot of things like, they can help you if you are hurt, or they can play with you if you’re bored. If someone needs to talk to someone and they are not comfortable talking to their friends than they have no one to talk to. If this child right soon does not become a child right then children will have no one to be with. Because some children do not have any parents and they are not comfortable talking to their guardians. Children should have the right to have someone to talk to without being scared.
student 2, Alexandra (18):
I’ve been thinking so much about this topic: Child Rights. I searched and found some principles about it and they were so obvious to me to be written rights, but unfortunately, some people just forgot what is essential in our lives, mainly in childhood. Everybody knows that this time of life is so important to our growth, it’s connected directly to the future and it’s connected directly with who we will be someday.(…)
To receive love and comprehension of all of us, including the parents; To be protected against abandonment and the exploration work, etc. With some examples of rights which I mentioned, I didn’t see one of that to me is very important: to have a family.
student 1, Curtis (13):
During my time on the wiki, I learned a lot about child labour, lack of food, and lack of fresh water in other countries. It surprised me how much people were in poverty and how much children work in factories about 16 hours a day. I also learned that 215 million children are in child labour. That’s astonishing. If children work in labour, they won’t get an education. That means they will be stuck in labour forever because if you don’t get an education, you probably won’t get a job that pays more because most jobs require education to get.
student 10, Jeremy (13):
My life feels hard, but after looking at other children’s lives, mine doesn’t even seem close to children who have to work everyday, eat barely anything, have no friends, and get beaten. I can’t imagine how terrible it would be to live in their shoes.
student 2, Lily (13):
My teacher signed my class up for this Children’s Rights Wiki, which is basically a global teenager project about the Rights of the Child. Through this, I’ve learnt a lot about the horrors many children have to face, including child labour. If children work instead of get educated, how do adults think problems such as global warming are going to be fixed? Also, in some countries that don’t have running water, girls have to walk for hours to collect water, then walk with 40 pounds of water back. I can’t even carry 40 pounds, and yet this is done every day by many girls.
Adults think they help children, but what about the ones who are truly in need? They don’t have anybody helping them. If an adult sees someone that really needs help, shouldn’t they try to make things better instead of pulling their own child closer, telling them not to talk to the homeless, and walking away?
student 16, Angel (13):
I have learned a lot about poverty and how the lifestyles of some children are horrible. I can’t believe that over 200 million children are in child labour globally. That is a way too big of a number. It is sad to see children work long, hard shifts and get close to nothing in return. Plus the working conditions are horrible and unsafe. I have learned about the inequality between females and males in some countries. (….) I have also learned about the world of trafficking. Taking children from their family can be one of the most horrible things one can do to a child, and just for what? That little bit of money? Some people are so heartless I really can’t bear to think about them. I have learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know in the past few months. And now I will be able to use that knowledge that I have gained to help make the world a better place.
student 17, Colby:
I didn’t know that so many children around the world had to work instead of going to school. Getting an education is key for having a successful life. Instead of having an education, these children have to work all day in a packed factory for very little pay. Their future is going to be very hard because they do not have the education they need in order to have a successful life. This made me feel very fortunate to be me. I can go to school, learn, and get a proper education.
Challenge three was about the right to grow up safe and about how children should grow up in a safe environment and place. Before I was on challenge three, I didn’t even think this was a situation. I thought children were always safe. Why? Well, mainly the fact that they were “children” made me think this way. But I was wrong. I was very wrong. Children in many countries are in danger. Their country might be at war. For example, children in Egypt were in danger due to the revolution in 2011. This challenge taught me that I am extremely lucky to be living in a safe country where there are barely any conflicts.
student 5, Yujun:
I think the Convention on the Rights of the Child should add one more right and that is children have the right to tell their parent or family where they are or where they’re going. I think they should add this right because I notice how children got kidnapped to another country and their parents can’t find them and they are worry about them. I think that the child’s parent should know where they are, so they know their children are still alive. Some families are lucky that after a years or a few, they can find their child. Even they are separated at least their parents knows where they are and they are safe.In my country we don’t have much of children gets kidnaped,but there is child labour companys for some cothes or shoes brands around. I think it’s good enough that their parents know where they are for the childrens that work for thoes companys. But I also felted sad for thoes parents that don’t know where their child are.
student 20, Elise:
I think children should have the right to have influence in politics, they’re making decisions that might have an effect on our future. People in government are cutting back money because of the financial crisis but that might have bad effects on our youth. I think we should think along because if they’ll make a wrong decision, we’re the ones who have to solve it. By letting children think about politics it can create a whole new and maybe even better perspective.
student 4, Eddy:
My child right is not really a new right but it is an already existing right which is not used in a lot of countries. Living in freedom. In a lot of countries children are not safe and cannot do what they want. I think this is very important for children to have because without a safe and nice childhood children are going to work for criminality or they don’t have a job and make the world even more dirtier. If they do have a nice childhood and maybe go to school they have a chance on a good future, a nice job and maybe start a family. They can also be traumatized easily if they are not free and live in unsafe areas which is also not good because then they have to go to institutions but that is too expensive for those people. Then they get angry on the government and a revolution is coming. This is of course not good either. That is why I think it is very important that the child right of freedom is used over the entire world.
student 1, Nasim:
The new children’s right that I would add would be called the “no country left behind” law. That means neighboring countries need to help a country in need by sending money or food supplies or vehicles so they can keep on going. If refugees are found, they should be brought into a shelter until they can find a house, along with a decent paying job for them, and to try other ways to sort out their lives. You can’t ignore people who are in need of assistance. In conclusion, I think that other countries should help more places.
student 11, Timo:
The right to have one hour each day for yourself!
There are a lot of children who have stress. Through this hour the children get the time to relax, so they get less stress. The children will be happier and so they have a better youth. People who had a good youth, are usually good people. They are usually happy, got a good job and they have less problems with other people. People who had a bad youth, have more chance to become a criminal. They have a lot of frustration and through that frustration they react bad to other people or animals. This is not always the case. Out some investigates revealed that most of the criminals had a bad youth, that was caused by stress, maltreatment, or other reasons. So if the children have less stress, they will be happier when they grow up. Then the world will be happier, there will be less criminals and so the world will be safer.
So I hope this right will be official a new right. I think this right helps to make the world more safe. That is the reason, why I have made this right.
student 21, Claire:
I have learned that there are enough Child Rights, but not all of them work well. There is a right against child labour for example, but we all know that there is still child labour in this world. I understand that if you make a right against child labour, you can not just think it will stop. In the convention on the Rights of the Child there is an article about this issue.
It also says that State Parties themselves may decide what the minimum age for working is. I think this not good, because some countries abuse of the fact that they can decide the minimum age by themselves. They will set the minimum age very low so the children can still work. I think an appropriate age is sixteen year old.
student 22, Inge:
I do a project with my school. That project is called Learning Circles. Learning Cirles is an eye opener. Now I start figure out how I can do better things for the world.
An example: first I showered 15 minutes and now I shower in 7 minutes. I do the same thing but now I do it faster I also don’t spend time on doing nothing under the shower. These things are better for the world and for my skin. Everyone must to do this and we will have a lot of spare water. This is the reason why everyone must do this project, you learn a lot about the world and the people who live there. You keep trying to do things better and you also learn English with it.
student 24, Isa and Puck:
We have learned a lot about our and other children’s rights. For example we have learned the difference between how our country and other countries in handling the rights. We learned how much better we have it in our country because of these rights. We have learned about our right to education and protection against child labour. We have learned to reflect to other people’s assignments and how to use their reflection to make our work better. We also have learned that not every child grows up in safety and how we are protected by our rights. But we think that there is a right we would like to add to this list of rights.
We think there should be a right, which allows you to delete all your shaming pictures, videos and other stuff from the internet. You can do this from the age of 14 with your parents’ permission and from the age of 18 by yourself. This protects children against cyberbullying. A lot of children are bullied because of shaming pictures of them that are posted on the internet. A lot of children get depressed or even commit suicide because of this. With this rights we can lower the chance of horrible things like this from happening.
student 29, Roxan:
I think there are a lot of good right’s but there is still missing a really important right, the right to being yourself if your gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, dark, white etc. People still judge other people on how they are, by their looks, by their behavior or by on which sex they fall. I find that that should not happen anymore because you cannot change those things because you are born like that. A gay can be very smart and kind but a straight person can be less smart and less kind so you see that they are also just people. We all want to be excepted and we all want to be loved and I think that no matter who or what you are you should get that.
An old philosopher said that a person strives to be the best form he or she can be, and that do all people. We are all the same and we are all different, if you look on the inside you see that everybody got bones and muscles etc.
In brief, there are a lot very good right’s but the children’s right that still has to come is the right to be really you without judging by others. This right isn’t only for kids actually it is for everybody. Let everybody just be themselves the world would be a whole better then for everybody. I hope that you will think about this new right.
student 10, Julian:
During the Learning Circle Project we did some smaller projects. In groups we made a cartoon about the fact that healthcare is much better here than in developing countries. We did some research about the Kids rights award and we made a poem about the differences here and there. One thing came clear while doing those things. Living conditions need to be improved over there, as much as for children as for adults.
Giving rights to children is a big step to improve it. Personally I didn’t know a lot about this subject before we started this whole Learning Cycle, despite the fact that I didn’t really care about it. Unlike then, this opened my eyes and I really think children in general, should have the chances and opportunities they can get.
During this project I also noticed something in particular. That it is hard to keep children safe, even though there are rights for them. Children are still getting abused, and are, easily said, unsafe. This can happen everywhere but the rights do make it less likely to happen. To stop this from happening, I thought of my “New right for the child”. “Every child has the right to be brought to safety during any kind of violence. This will result in less children being harmed.
student 3, Luna:
My own, new, to be added Child right is the right to be loved. There is the right to parents who take care of you, but maybe they don’t treat you like a real parent should do. Real parents show their love in every way. They should think of the child, instead of thinking of themselves. They should give the very last drop of water to their child. But if the parents don’t love them, kids should have someone else to love and to be loved by. So if the child does not live for itself, it lives for their loved ones. This needs to be highlighted because me and most people think that love is more important than food, drink, work, money and anything else.
student 7, Ilse:
I came up with this right because my life would be totally miserable without it;
”Every child has the right to listen or make music.”
My motivation to this right is that even if times get hard, you can take a break and just loose yourself into the music. I myself play piano and guitar, and I can spend hours without noticing time passing by. I also really enjoy evenings were my dad and I get a guitar and play together. And even if there’s no money for instruments, you can still make music by drumming on all kinds of stuff; wood, a piece of plastic, your body, you can snap with your fingers. The cup song is a great example. And when you don’t have a good sense for rhythm, or you’re disabled so you can’t make music, you can listen to it, which is also very fun.
student 10, Thajaani:
In our class we understand how important it is to have all of those rights and how important is for our daily life. Most kids don’t have all of these rights and I am very thankful to have it. So let me get right to the point. I have read the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and I thought it was amazing! But I would strongly believe that you (as the United Nations) have to change it a tiny bit.
As you know it’s been 25 years since the United Nations written the UN convention of the rights of a child. Time has changed so I think you need to change something up. I think that there should be a new article. Article 55 should say ‘‘Children should not be brainwashed by bad influence’’.
student 14, Kyle:
My right is that children shouldn’t abuse the internet. Thousands of kids around the world use the internet and some children use it for good use while others use it for bad use.
Kids can put whatever they want on the internet. The internet can be used to embarrass people or get them in trouble. There are no rules for the internet that’s why people abuse it. I think you should put this in the charter of rights because then children could use the internet for what it’s for and be safe at the same time. Some people still might abuse the internet but they can still get in a lot of trouble. One time someone posted a picture on Facebook of me and I didn’t want it there and I couldn’t do anything about it.
student 5, Andre:
But I think you should Combine article 6 with article 24, because a child can have a life, but if they don’t have a good one to live, then what is the point? (…) because they are the two main things that a child needs to have a great life: stay healthy and develop. Rich countries should also help them achieve this because if a poorer country doesn’t have all the supplies, food and water for a good healthcare, the country won’t be able to help the children in need. The reason why this is important is because the children of the countries in poverty will feel like they are trapped inside a terrible life of nothing. They’ll be hungry, thirsty and in need of medical attention. Children are the future of these countries and if they aren’t alive, then what will become of the country in the future?
In conclusion, I might just be a small child from Toronto, but you should enforce this right because everyone should be able to live a great life no matter where they’re from.
I won’t waste anymore of your time but take this into consideration.
student 2, Mikella:
Every single day thousands of children die when it could be preventable. Instead of making new rights for children we must first address the unimaginable horrors children are facing right now and the only way to do that is to educate students, especially the privileged, around the world on the current situation millions of children are exposed to worldwide.
(…) We are media oriented and sadly we know more about the Kardashians than we do about children being sold into the slave trade. Nothing will change if we are not educated. Therefore, the only suggestion I can make is that a new course of study is introduced into the educational system whereby it is compulsory to learn about the misery that is taking place around the world and how we can change it.
Teach us how to make a change and how to feel responsible and you might find that the rights of the child will no longer be ignored.