What world is that which is fit for children? Is this world such a place? What is ‘child centred development’? Is the development taking place in localities everywhere child centred? To what extent do children and young people have a say on the shaping of their localities? What is the planning system that recognizes the voices of children and young people? Does this system register votes of children and young people in development options? What percentage of local budgets is allocated for children and young people?
Decades after it’s adoption, the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) has spurred much improvement in the area of children’s rights, still, many of the Convention’s standards has yet to become reality in many parts of the world.
In the Philippines, many localities have declared child friendly even crafting a Code for Children each, but LGUs need to go beyond the trimmings into truly transforming their physical, social, economic, and legal environments to level up to CRC standards (give and take cultural differences).
‘A world fit for children’ is, in reality, a radical change in systems, institutions, and, first and foremost, attitudes and perceptions toward children and young people.
When I approach a child, I have two feelings: affection for what he is today and respect for what he can become…Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously, they have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equal. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be– the unknown person inside each of them in the hope for the future.