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The Tapori defend children’s rights at the UN
Les enfants Tapori

On 8th December, Mrs Kyung-wha Kang, assistant High Commissioner for Human rights, hosted a delegation of Tapori children and adults from ATD Fourth World.

10 years ago, Tapori children met with Mrs Robinson, High commissioner for Human Rights.

For the 20th anniversary of the convention for Children’s Rights and for Human Rights world day, a delegation of 23 children and 16 adults from every continent met with Mrs Kyung-wha Kang, assistant High commissioner for human rights, and her team, for an exchange between the various United Nations protagonists. It took more than a year to prepare this meeting within Fourth World Popular Universities and Forums and the Tapori campaign.

Mrs Kang greeted the delegation with the following words: « This is an important journey for both you and us because it is the opportunity to speak as equals, to share ideas and experiences, and for us to hear what your preoccupations and hopes are for a better, fairer world. We are here to learn from you”.

School and solidarity were recurring topics : “a child does not learn well because he feels rejected, misunderstood in his suffering” (Europe), “a mother, with her neighbours’ support, welcomed hundreds of children at the door of her house to enable them to access basic pre-school learning” (Caribbean, Latin America) “people who live in great poverty need consideration, recognition and dignity. We discovered that this was also true for the European delegates and we had no idea that in Europe so many children were separated from their parents because of destitution” (Africa)

During this exchange, some of the officials declared « your contributions are giving us tools with which to understand what still doesn’t work and what we need to say to governments”. “No child should be separated from his parents because of poverty”. “Carry on speaking up for yourselves and also for others”.

To conclude, Eugen Brand requested that the expertise of very poor people be sought after on the same basis as that of the experts when it comes to evaluating the Millenium targets and the follow up thereof.

After the meeting a delegate from Burkina Faso declared « We have given the High Commission the tools with which to proceed. We have made concrete proposals”.

Mrs Kang concluded : « courage comes from youth. We need you to remind us day after day that we must have this type of courage to break the silence which surrounds human rights violations”.