LEBANON: Children submit first child-led report to UN
9th April 2010, Lebanon- From cluster bombs to child labour, Lebanese children have shed light on the issues affecting children in Lebanon in an unprecedented child-led report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.
Over a period of two months, children from Beirut, the Bekaa valley and Marjeyoun, Southern Lebanon came together to brainstorm about issues that affect children. They then analysed, debated and agreed on the information to include in their report.
'In our Children's Council in Marjeyoun we decided to research about cluster bombs and landmines and how this situation affects the lives of children in Lebanon,' said a 13-year-old who helped write the report. 'We live in fear of cluster bombs and this causes psychological problems and lack of freedom of movement in our villages. This is violence against children'.
'We decided to write about street children in the report,' said one child. 'We put ourselves in the place of street children and it is a terrible situation that no child wants to live in.'
In the report, children also highlighted issues such child labour, children with no identification/unregistered at birth, children with disabilities and violence against children.
'This activity was very good because we talked about child rights and we learned how children can help other children when their rights are violated,' said a 14-year-old. 'We are very concerned about working children.' .....
'We clearly identify child participation and the principles outlined in article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a pivotal component in our advocacy initiatives,' said Patricio Cuevas-Parra, World Vision Lebanon Advocacy Manager.
'We are committed to children who expressed that they seldom have the chance to express their opinions and to be listened to. Children articulated great appreciation for the opportunity to participate and to influence their communities and peers and to contribute to a more just society.'