This blog post is the first installment in a series discussing the declining attention towards children’s rights. In recent times, while climate change receives significant coverage, the growing problems concerning children’s rights often go unnoticed. This article aims to shed light on this crucial issue and bring it back into focus.
The Shift in Focus
When I initially started this blog four years ago, my primary focus was advocating for the rights of children. However, over time, the subject gradually moved to the shadows, overlooked, forgotten, and ignored. This shift occurred due to various reasons. These reason limited the time I could dedicate to writing articles on this blog. As a result, my recent posts have mainly consisted of translations, which indirectly address the problems I had previously written about.
Looking back at the beginning of my blog, several posts were dedicated to the United Nations, particularly UNICEF. While I now actively support UNICEF, Plan International, Save The Children, Lumos, and other organizations, this was not always the case.
The Impact of Psychologically Hurtful Commercials
During that time, organizations like UNICEF and Save The Children released commercials with clear intentions. However, these commercials had a significant problem – they were psychologically hurtful to the very children they aimed to help. I personally experienced this during that period, which inspired me to write the aforementioned post.
To exemplify, here is an unedited video that became part of UNICEF’s “World Upside Down” campaign in the United Kingdom in 2016.
The year 2016 witnessed hard-hitting commercials by children’s rights organizations such as UNICEF, Save The Children, and World Vision. However, as time progressed, these initiatives suddenly ceased. As 2016 came to an end, the Save The Children organization released its last impactful international commercial, and it has yet to launch another international campaign since. The same applies to the World Vision organization and most other major organizations. Only UNICEF and SOS Children’s Villages remain as noteworthy active organizations.
The Diminishing Respect for Children’s Rights
While this may not seem problematic at first glance, the decline in commercials coincided with a decrease in respect for children’s rights. Often, children are used to make political statements, but genuine concern for their well-being appears to have waned. Furthermore, even organizations that continue to release commercials witness a drastic decrease in viewership. For instance, three years ago, UNICEF easily reached 10,000 views on YouTube with their videos, but now they struggle to reach a thousand.
The reason behind the diminishing impact of these commercials is not hard to identify. I have witnessed it firsthand. Three years ago, children’s rights organizations focused on giving voice to children themselves. They engaged with individuals like me, who write blogs addressing these issues. However, these days, that approach has been abandoned. Speaking to younger activists involved in children’s rights, they feel left out and forgotten. They observe that attention is predominantly directed towards influential figures, like BTS and similar celebrities. While these individuals have substantial fan bases and influence, they are not the ones organizations like UNICEF should be targeting. The true impact lies in reaching adults who can amplify the voices of these organizations and address the problems children face.
One individual I spoke with expressed concern about UNICEF’s recent campaign video titled “Just a Kid.” According to her, the video highlights the exact problem faced by children’s rights today, a problem that UNICEF seems to be experiencing itself. Children are speaking out, demanding their rights, and striving for a better tomorrow, but their voices are not truly heard by adults, including UNICEF. She remarked, “There is too much attention given to influential people and not enough to children themselves.” Additionally, she added, “The difficulties I experience as a child are often not taken seriously, apparently because I don’t live in a country such as Syria or Yemen.”
Here is UNICEF’s “Just a Kid” campaign video.
This concludes part 1 of the series discussing the decline of attention towards children’s rights. Stay tuned for the next installment, where we will delve deeper into the implications and potential solutions to this issue.
[End of Part 1. The continuation of this article will be published soon!]