Löning: children’s rights are not for adults to grant as favours

19.11.2010 - Press release

As the anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November approached, Markus Löning in collaboration with UNICEF Germany called for participation in a Children’s Rights Action Week. This saw school pupils run project days about the rights of the child anchored in international law. Members of the German Bundestag from all parties visited schools in their constituencies and participated in discussions with pupils about the implementation of this Convention – internationally and within Germany.

On 18 November, Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, and Christian Schneider, Managing Director of UNICEF Germany, visited the Blumengrundschule, a primary school in Berlin’s Friedrichshain district, where they spoke with pupils about children’s rights. Even the very youngest (aged 6-7) told their visitors which rights they thought were the most important. Seven-year-old Elisa recited a poem on the subject: “Children’s Rights are Wonderful!”

Markus Löning issued the following statement today (19 November):

“The recognition and subsequent upholding of children’s rights are not for adults to grant as favours. If we can teach children to see human rights as a completely natural part of themselves, as an expression of what it is to be a human being, they will grow up to stand up for them as adults. And courageous people who know their rights are needed all over the world – only they can persistently obstruct dictators and put an end to injustice.”

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