Voices of Children

In Arigatou International we believe that children’s voices are not only to be heard but also to be taken into account in decisions that matter to them. Creating opportunities for children to speak up about issues that concern them, to articulate their views about situations around them, and propose ideas to contribute to change, are important for the development of critical life skills and the child agency.

The following are the views of children of our network who are expressing their ideas about topics of concern, demanding action and trying to mobilize other children and youth. Their ideas are helping shape our strategies and programs and understand the world from their perspective.


"The freedom to express is a right, but in fact, because we are children and they think we are not mature enough they (adults) do not take our opinion into account nor value it".
—Ecuador 16 years-old
"By providing child rights to children, it will build the confidence of a child in expressing views at any time or when having any concerns; hence the child is not to be crashed on views".
—Tanzania, 17 years-old
"( Faith communities shall) Encourage and train teachers to end physical punishment (corporal punishment), introduce ideas for non-violent conflict resolution, and take necessary actions for children who complain about their vulnerability."
—Sri Lanka, 14-17 years-old
"We want our leaders to organize gatherings with children from other religions and to sit down with children and personally discuss their needs and feelings."
—Bosnia &amp Herzegovina, 12-16 years-old

Humans in chains

Bertsy – Cameroon
Article

People ask what is human rights? Where do they come from? Human rights can be referred to any right or freedom to which all humans are entitled to. The UN pinpoints that the human rights originated in the year 539 BC, when the troops of Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon. Cyrus freed the slaves, declared the freedom of religion and choice and established equality. These served as inspiration for the first four articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Since then, there have been treaties that recognized the need to give a single, equal status to all human beings.

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Words for the launching of the Faith and Children’s Rights Study

Lamija – Bosnia & Herzegovina
Speech

Esselamu alejkum, peace be upon you. My name is Lamija Hašimović, I am a Muslim and I come from Bosnia and Herzegovina, more precisely from a city called Visoko. I am an activist at a Muslim organization called "Youth Network", as well as at the Association of Women for Interreligious Dialogue in Family and Society "Mozaik", and the Global Network of Religions for Children.

My country is known for its natural beauty, Bosnian coffee, and unique culture. Unfortunately, it is also known for the ethnical rooted war between Bosnians, Serbs, and Croats and for the Srebrenica genocide where more than 8000 Bosnian were killed. Most of them men and boys; boys whose children's rights were not respected. After 25 years, we continue striving to overcome the aftermath of the war, which also involves the need to respect the rights of all children.

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My view on child rights

Saman – Pakistan
Painting

I start painting from my childhood, since I was in grade 1 in School, using coloring books and my interest in art developed. I like to paint the human problems that we are facing. I draw different paintings in my class in art competitions. In this painting, I’ve used pastel colors and oil paints, to make the picture more realistic!

With this painting, I would like to convey the message that having children involved in child labor and not going to school for education is something against the spirit of article No. 28 "Every child has the right to get a good quality of education". I tried my best to show the problem: one boy is struggling, while the other boy is going to school.

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