After decades of advocacy, the issue of children’s rights violation is now the focus of the international and national public debate. Its forms and manifestations are shaped by social and cultural structures, as well as the dynamics of each social and political system. Various factors such as racial or ethnic identity, caste, class, age, religion, migrant or refugee status, marital status, disability will influence what forms of violence children suffer and how they experience it.
Children’s rights are human rights; thus, violations of children’s rights are now recognised worldwide as violations of fundamental human rights, an issue of considerable social and economic cost to individuals, communities, and States. Thanks to milestones such as the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, children are now on global and national policy agendas in ways that were not possible.
Whilst the concept of child rights and SDGs may seem too complicated for very young children, it is proven that children are actively developing the skills to understand complex concepts from a young age. Their sense of right and wrong, their identity as socially responsible beings, and their sense of fairness are growing and developing.
Teaching children about their rights is, therefore, an essential part of this development, and at the same time, one of the best ways to enrich their knowledge is by exchanging ideas with their peers. Interventions, such as a pen pal program, are sought to create learning experiences for participants. Pen pal programs are known to increase knowledge for literacy and create a social relationship between pals. There is also a strong learning outcome from pen pal programs for knowledge gain of a new culture and learning more about an individual’s own culture.
In light of this idea, Educación Diversa launches the project Educacion DiversAmigos to become a “channel” to connect children from different countries through handwritten letter exchanges.We identify participants and coordinate with the schools and parents to ensure that each student has a pen friend in a sustainable age from a different country and that letters are written on a regular basis. Students will be given an initial activity to determine their current level of knowledge about the Convention on the Rights of the Child and then asked to write a bit about themselves or draw a self-portrait to represent the first article that they are under 18. The project will continue fortnightly for six months or until content and activities for at least 10 of the main Articles from the Convention have been completed.