Education about Human Rights begins in Childhood
Author the children bilingual book: “The Adventures of Enzo”
Since 1948, we celebrate every year the International Day of Human Rights.
Humans Rights, what a nice expression you might say. But, we all know that they are not always respected as they should. Moreover, does every country have the same understanding of the meaning of the International Day of Human Rights, or are there different views?
My son Enzo loves school, although he sometimes must face unkindness from his peers. He is a little boy no different from any other child of his age; he is curious, impatient, he likes to learn, and grows up in all innocence.
Enzo has big heart, he loves unconditionally, he shares and respects. He is kind and loves to play with his friends.
Nevertheless, he sometimes comes back home with a heavy heart and ready to scream in frustration. No two school days are alike.
In this International day of tolerance, fraternity, respect and love, my little Enzo seems rather skeptical about the reality of Human Rights!
We often say and hear that «we are all born equal» but are these just empty words, lacking the support of our actions?
Enzo has a buddy, who has five fingers in each hand, two feet, two ears, a pretty heart-shaped mouth, a snub nose in the middle of his face. He is as tall as my child, beautiful and as gentle as a dove. Yet every morning, his classmates jeer him, pull his pretty curls, snatch his clothes, laugh at him, and he is often found on the ground in the courtyard.
Because Isaak’s skin color is chocolate, because he has big hazelnut eyes, he speaks a different language; he comes from elsewhere, with a different religion and culture. It is wonderful to experience a new world at five years old.
The fifth article of the Human Rights stipulates that: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
The principle of Human Rights applies to everyone; including those who have a different skin color than ours, or a different religion, a different culture, a different status, as well as to those who come from a different country or are multi cultural!
Isaak’s parents come from a far away country; they do not have the same culture,the same language as yours or mine, but they do love theirs ones much as I love mine!
If I accept these new people in my country,in my daily life, it is becauseI believe that they will enrich my life. But,there are still adults who oppose foreigners.
Because Isaak and his family are different, and different is scary. Because there are people who refuse to see beyond the borders of their country.Because there are people who do not know how to appreciate the beauty of human beings.
Some parents forget to teach their children respect and courtesy to others, to educate them about basic rights,universal freedoms and to nurture a friendly relationship development.
I can recall the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and I remember that the first article of 1789 speaks about human dignity, stipulating that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights.”
This article was included in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. “
When my son returns from school intears, it is not because he fell during recessor because he was scolded and punished, but because his friend Isaakis suffering in silence.
In the third article of the Declaration of Human Rights, I can read that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. And because my little five year old boy, Enzo applies this article, he is rejected like his friend with a chocolate skin color.
We are no longer talking about differences, this is intolerance!
Enzo protects Isaak, Isaak protects Enzo. Who is protecting our children?
What will happen tohuman rightsif we allowour childrento humiliate othersbecause of theirdifferences?
Article 26is about the rights to education: “Education shall be directed to the full development of the personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations and all racial and religious groups, and shall further the activities of United Nations peacekeeping.”
We are also toldthat parents have the right to choose the kind ofeducation they want for their children.
However, should we be selfish, forget thatthe earth is round; that it is composed of different countrieswith different faces that also have different shades of colors.
Do we have the right to not teach our children to be friends with people from different cultures, different religions because we are afraid?
If every one of us applied the true values of the Human Rights, without imposing a particular law, the world would be happier place and we could declare a “smile” as the universal an them.
Let’s not forget that the Human Rights exist and that they must be respected. Let’snot give up for the sake of future generations.
Every morning I take my child to school with a smile, and I leave the school with the same smile because Isaak is always next to him.
Translate by Marie Isabelle Dalbadie