Children and young people from around the world
Kailash Satyarthi - Children's rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, 2014
Kevin Watkins - Executive Director, ODI
Ann Cotton - Founder and President, CAMFED
Other special guests to be announced soon.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is 25 years old on the 20th November. A defining moment in history, the convention meant that for the first time, all children around the world were viewed as human beings with their own set of rights. In the past quarter of a century the lives of children have changed immensely – often for the better. Here in the UK all children have the right to an education, protection from harm and a legal say in all matters affecting them and that is an outstanding achievement.
But in too many parts of the world, the rights laid out in the Convention still remain out of reach; far too many children are out of school, struggling to get an education; far too many girls are forced into early marriage, far too many children trafficked and labouring in dangerous workplaces in conditions little better than slavery; and far too many boys and girls face daily discrimination and attack around the world. There is no international law that forces governments to implement child rights. There is no safe way for children to take their cases to court. This has to change.
It’s time for governments to step up and enforce their children’s rights.
Our future, our rights, a unique ODI/A World at School youth rally, will give children from around the world the chance to present their cases of exploitation and neglect to decision makers. Following their presentations, Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of ODI and Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and a special guest will sign a letter to be presented to the Chair of the Committee on the Convention of the Rights of the Child at the United Nations. The letter will call for each of the cases to be investigated and will kick start the next step in the fight for child rights.
Underpinning each of these children’s cases is the question of education – getting every child into school could help end early marriage, child labour and discrimination.
To drive action on child rights, the Rally will include the UK launch of a new global call to action – the #UpForSchool petition – to demonstrate the unprecedented public support for education and an end to discrimination against children. The petition is backed by a coalition of more than 100 businesses, faith leaders, NGOs, teachers and influential individuals with the aim of making it the biggest petition in history before the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 calling for the universal right to education.
Alongside Kailash Satyarthi and Kevin Watkins, Our future, our rights will be attended by VIP special guests. Ann Cotton, Founder and President of Camfed will speak about girl's rights and Anthony Lake, Executive Director of Unicef and Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, will give special video messages for the occasion.
It will be livestreamed to young people around the world, this event will capture a global audience.
With London youth performers, celebrity guests and a lively rally atmosphere Our future, our rights will help push child rights higher up the international agenda and see real changes to international law and getting every child in to school, no matter who they are or where they are born.
This event is currently invite-only. However, to request futher information or to be placed on the waiting list please email [email protected].