As the saying goes, ‘Children are the leaders of tomorrow’. They represent the future, and our hope for a better Nigeria.
However, we do not fully equip these children with what they need to be leaders. Many of them grow up confused, not knowing what they want and trying to fit into the the space that has been given to them by their parents and the society.
We, somehow, fail to realize that these children are individuals, although very dependent, but individuals none the less. They are neither properties of their parents nor the state, they have minds of their own, dreams they hope to fulfill and no one has the right to take it away from them. It is sad, however, that many parents have a hand in shattering their children’s dreams by imposing their choices on the child’s shoulders.
Hence it is essential to recognise that every child has rights that should not be taken for granted:
Right to Life,
It is not on a parent or society to decide if a child lives or dies. As far as they’ve been born, that right takes hold.
Right to their own Identity.
Children have names and personality therefore no parent( society included) should take it away from them, they can only help them be better versions of themselves.
Right to Health
This right is important and similar to the right to life. Children have the right to proper health care, water, and nutrition.
Right to Education
This will help them build discipline, skill and develop their intellect to later contribute positively to the society.
Right to be Protected from violence.
Sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, every and any form of violence to children is intolerable.
Right to their Opinions
It might not be realistic but at least it gives a perception of their state of mind. They should be free to express themselves without fear or criticism.
Many are ignorant of these rights and that is why we should up our awareness game. Although, social media is the easiest and fastest way to create awareness, another important aspect is teaching the children that they, indeed, have rights. We need to incorporate that as a strategy, there’s a difference between having a right to something and knowing it compared to having a right to something while being unaware.
Children are the leaders of tomorrow. Let us all work together to ensure they are properly equipped to be great leaders.