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The Rights of the Child

Sheila Barry, Publisher of Groundwood Books
Sheila Barry, Publisher of Groundwood Books

I cannot read the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child without tearing up at item 3, which begins “You have the right to a name….” I am simply undone to realize that we live in a world where this right has to be articulated, and to realize also that, like the other statements in this declaration, every child’s right to a name remains more a hopeful promise than a firm guarantee. So when I indulge in one of my frequent fantasies about how things would be different around this planet if I were supreme ruler of the universe, I don’t stop at picturing all the world’s children entering light-filled classrooms staffed by well-trained teachers who read to them every day no matter how old they are. I also picture groups of children being given a copy of this book along with an assurance that the adults they encounter, both in school and outside, will work as hard as they can every day of their lives to deliver on the hopeful promises it contains.

I Have the Right to Be a Child By author Alain Serres, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty, translated by Helen Mixter


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