Published: November 2006By:With the support of Government of BelizeWritten by:Marleni Cuellarfor the National Committee for Families and ChildrenDesigned and Published by:Dolphin Productions LimitedIllustrations by:George ‘RasHead’ GriffithThis version of the Convention on the Rights of theChild was produced by Save the Children.
1 The UNGASS or the United Nations In 2002 children and leaders from all over the world got together in New General Assembly York to take part in a very important discussion about children. The Special Session for discussion was called the United Nations General Assembly Special When we say Children was a very Session (UNGASS) for Children. At the end of this meeting all leaders children we important meeting are talking held in 2002 where all agreed to a set of goals and a global plan they called: “A World Fit for about all countries of the world came together to talk Children.” persons between about the situation of 0 to 17 years. children across the world and what could be done to make life The National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents(NPA) for better for all children Belize was created to keep the promise our government made at the UNGASS for children. It was created to meet special goals for children and adolescents over an eleven year period: 2004 – 2015. It is how our country’s leaders promise to create a ‘Belize Fit for Children.’ This booklet is written for children but anyone can read it to learn more about the National Plan of Action. It uses easy-to-read language and pictures to explain the National Plan of Action: Who created it, How it was created, and most importantly What it plans to achieve. He’s right! In fact, your veryAn adolescent is a first right in theyoung person between Convention onthe ages of 10 and 19. the Rights ofIt is the time before the Child says:becoming an adult. that any person under the age of 18 is considered a child.
2 Hello. My name is Bev and I am Tareek and we are Belizean Children. We are trying to learn more about this plan that is suppose to be for us and all other children in Belize. I hope this book will be able to help us understand the plan and learn more about our rights. Hi Bev, Hi Tareek My name is Ellsworth and I am a High School student in Belize. I know a lot about Children s Rights and the National Plan of Action. It is very important that you learn about it too. So I am going to help you. But before we get started meet some of my friends who will help us too: My name is Dexter and I will explain difficult words for you. And I am Ms CRC, I will tell you about your rights.
3So...what exactly is NPA? Our NPA is a plan of action for our entire country; NPA is just a shortened term for National Plan of Action for Children and Adolescents. It brings together all the promises our leaders have made for children into detailed actions that they will make happen by 2015. This is so that all children and adolescents in Belize can grow to fullest potential. Let me explain what a Plan of Action is: A Plan of Action is a step-by-step Who created our NPA? description of how future activities will be completed. It normally includes the results to be achieved and how to find out if the activities are working properly. Our NPA was created through lots of hard work from many people. It was a process that took over a year to finish. Let me show you how it happened:
4 THE WAY TO THE NPA April 2002 Belize Agrees to ‘A World Fit 2 00 For Children’ at the UNGASS in New York. 2 b er 003 v em r y2 No rua A special group is formed to begin the creation Feb of the NPA. The group decides on six main areas of attention. September 2004 04 20 The Prime Minister, e Hon. Said Musa, and the Jun Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Dean Barrow, sign the NPA. The group agrees on the final NPA (The one we have today!)
5But why did the Prime Minister sign the plan? The Prime Minister signed the plan to endorse it. This was a Endorse means to agree and approve very important step in creating the plan. It was important because of something. BOTH the Prime Minister AND the Leader of the Opposition signed together putting all differences aside to agree that no matter who is in power - Children would be their #1 concern and the NPA would be their #1 way of investing in children. NOW, LETS LEARN ABOUT WHATS IN OUR NPA!
6 THE NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION: INVESTING IN OUR CHILDREN 2004-2015 The first thing you should know is that all parts of the NPA are important. And although it focuses on six main areas; no one area is more important than the other. Each is very important in ensuring that all Belizean children develop fully. This drawing below will help you to understand what s in the NPA and how it works: That’s right! Not only are they all important but they are all basic human and children rights
8 Lets start with our destination: There are three main goals that we are trying to reach. The NPA includes the beginning actions to be taken so that eventually ALL CHILDREN can: - Receive love, affection, safety, respect and values without discrimination, so that we can develop to our fullest potential: Mind, Body, and Spirit. - Apply our rights and also the responsibilities that come along with those rights - Have opportunities for our families and communities offered by theDiscrimination is when country so that we can live a better life.we are not treatedequally or are treateddifferently becauseof our race, color,sex, language, religion, Doesnt that sound like adisability, and anything wonderful way to live!else that makes usunique.
9 There are six clouds hanging over the road. These are the guides for the plan. They are always there and must be a part of our travel. All together they make sure that when making the NPA a reality: - All boys and girls are treated the same - Our environment is not damaged or destroyed - Children and adolescents are allowed to fully participate Participation - Families are kept united is being - Every child is treated the same no matter if they are boy or girl, which race involved in, they belong to, which church they go to, or where the come from. playing a part - Everyone works together - Government, Organizations, Parents, in, something. Schools, Community Leaders, Children... Lawyers, Bankers, Having Doctors, Police, Social Workers...EVERYBODY! your voice heard andEnvironment is all that being takensurrounds us. The trees, seriously -sea, sky, star, moon... usually whenall that Mother Nature decisions Thats right! Because we are important!created are being taken about somethingWe the children and adolescents ofBelize will use the NPA to take us tothe wonderful goals. As we travel, wewill be sure to stop at each main area.Here s what they have to offer: Accessible means everyone is able to use or I will: benefit from something - Make education accessible and affordable to everyone - Have every child receive the best quality of education Affordable is something - Have less children dropping out of school that someone with a - Have more children capable of reading and writing well regular or small pay can - Give both boys and girls the same opportunity to become buy. educated
10 I will: - Have all babies and infants live a longer and healthier early years - Have less children suffering from malnutrition - Have less children born with disabilities - Have less children suffering from health problems, diseases and dangers that can be avoided: like dengue, lice, cavities and Disabilities areMalnutrition is the accidents physical orresult of not getting - Have healthier adolescents mental problems.enough food or - Make mental health services for children, adolescents and their For example:water to maintain a family more accessible and affordable having a bodyhealthy body. part missing or not working properly. I will: - Protect more children from being abuse and abandonedAbandoned is when - Stop the worst forms of child laboryour parents give you - Have less adolescents having childrenup. They no longer - Create more opportunities for children with disabilitiestake care of you. and special needs - Have more opportunities for all children and less discrimination - Have less children committing crimes Child Labor is work done by a child that is harmful to them in some way. It could be harmful by making them sick, stopping them from going to school or makes them feel bad about themselves.
11 I will: -Have less babies born with HIV -Make care and treatment for people who are HIV positive affordable and accessible -Have less children getting HIV -Make more support services available for children orphaned by HIV -Have less discrimination of children living with HIV or AIDS I will: Orphaned is -Make sure parents can take good care of their children when one or both -Have less families living in poor conditions a child’s parents have died I will: -Make creative arts programs accessible and affordableHIV is the virus that to children of all backgroundscauses AIDS which -Have more children know more about the different culturesstops your body from of Belizeprotecting itself from -Have more opportunities for children to expresssicknesses. It can lead themselves creativelyto death.
12 A Non Governmental So how do we get to the goals? Organization or NGO is any organization which is not part of government which exists We use the strategies. to help people who have some sort of problem or to protect something which is in danger. Yeah, Ill take you there. We are the processes that will be used to take you to the goals. We are: -The rules that will be made and corrected to protect you -Information on the real condition of children in Belize -More knowledge for those implementing the plan -Unity of all those working for children and adolescents - The measurements that check if the plan is working properly And who is the Police Man? I am a Traffic Officer. I make sure that everyone is headed in the right direction towards the goals. Implement means to put into action.
13So many things work together There are many people in different places working together to makefor the NPA. Who else is the NPA a reality. The Government Ministries and Non Governmentinvolved and what have they Organizations (NGOs) will complete the activities in this plan.been doing so far? The job of making sure that they do this, like the Traffic Officer, is the National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC). They have even broken up the plan into smaller pieces and created schedules by when certain things should be completed. The NCFC will also constantly check the progress of the plan as it is being put into action. All together, they take their jobs very seriously. Everybody whos a Well, I have one last question for you, part of the NPA wants to see a "Belize fit for Children." Ellsworth. How can we take part in creating the "Belize Fit for Children"?Very good question.First of all, remember that the NPA is onlythe beginning of the process of creating the"Belize Fit for Children."It maps out the workthat needs to be done for children in six areas.It is now the job of many people - including you- to make sure that the NPA is accomplishedby the end of 2015.Heres what you can do:1. Learn about your NPA and understand it as best as you possibly can.2. Teach others about it: your friends, your parents, your teachers anyone.Everyone must contribute to improve the livesof all children and adolescents in Belize.
14 Heres the full list of all your rights! Article 12: You have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously. Article 13: THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON You have the right to find out things and say what you think, through making THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD art, speaking and writing, unless it breaks the rights of others. Article 1: Article 14: Everyone under 18 has all these rights. You have the right to think what you like and be whatever religion you want to be, with your parents guidance. Article 2: You have the right to protection against discrimination. This means Article 15: that nobody can treat you badly because of your color, sex or religion, You have the right to be with friends and join or set up clubs, unless this if you speak another language, have a disability, or are rich or poor. breaks the rights of others. Article 3: Article 16: All adults should always do what is best for you. You have the right to a private life. For instance, you can keep a diary that other people are not allowed to see. Article 4 Article 17: You have a right to make your rights made a reality by the government. You have the right to collect information from the media radios, newspapers, television, etc from all around the world. You should also be Article 5 protected from information that could harm you. You have the right to be given guidance by your parents and family. Article 18: Article 6: You have the right to be brought up by your parents, if possible. You have the right to life. Article 19: Article 7: You have the right to be protected from being hurt or badly treated. You have the right to have a name and a nationality. Article 20: Article 8: You have the right to special protection and help if you can t live with your You have the right to an identity. parents. Article 9: Article 21: You have the right to live with your parents, unless it is bad for you. You have the right to have the best care for you if you are adopted or Article 10: fostered, or living in care. If you and your parents are living in separate countries, you have the right to get back together and live in the same place. Article 22: You have the right to special protection and help if you are a refugee. A Article 11: refugee is someone who has had to leave their country because it is not You should not be kidnapped. safe for them to live there.
15Article 23: Article 34:If you are disabled, either mentally or physically, you have the right You have the right to be protected from sexual abuse.to special care and education to help you develop and lead a full life. Article 35:Article 24: No one is allowed to kidnap you or sell you.You have a right to the best health possible, and to medical care andto information that will help you to stay well. Article 36 You have the right to protection from any other kind of exploitation.Article 25You have the right to have your living arrangements checked regularly Article 37:if you have to be looked after away from home. You have the right not to be punished in a cruel or hurtful way.Article 26 Article 38:You have the right to get help from the government if you are in poor You have a right to protection in times of war. If you are under 15, you shouldor in need. never have to be in an army or take part in a battle.Article 27: Article 39:You have the right to a good enough standard of living. This means You have the right to help if you have been hurt, neglected or badly treated.you should have food, clothes and a place to live. Article 40:Article 28: You have the right to help in defending yourself if you are accused of breakingYou have the right to education. the law.Article 29: Article 41You have the right to education that tries to develop your personality You have the right to any rights in your laws in your country or internationallyand abilities as much as possible and encourages you to respect that give you better rights than these.other people s rights and values, and to respect the environment. Article 42:Article 30: All adults and children should know about this Convention. You have a right toIf you come from a minority group, because of your race, religion or learn about your rights, and adults should learn about them too.language, you have the right to enjoy your own culture, practice yourown religion, and use your own language. Articles 43 - 54 are about how governments and international organizations will work to give children their rightsArticle 31:You have the right to play and relax by doing things like sports,music and drama.Article 32:You have the right to protection from work that is bad for your healthor education.Article 33:You have the right to be protected from dangerous drugs.
16 Here are some places in Belize that work for Children and their Families: Name What do they do? Where can you find them? The BFC works family matters in the court such as custody, maintenance, family Treasury Lane Belize Family Court BFC violence. Belize City Belize Council for the Visually BCVI works with Belizeans who have problems with their sight to live as normal a life as 1 Gabourel Lane BCVI Impaired possible. They also teach people to protect and take care of their eyes. Belize City BFLA works with adolescents and young adults; they offer health sessions and Mercy Lane Belize Family Life Association BFLA counseling services so that they can grow to have healthy lives. Belize City Cornerstone provides families and children affected by HIV/AIDS with their basic needs 90 Burns Avenue Cornerstone Foundation like food, clothing, medicine and education. San Ignacio Town Community Agency for the CARE works to make the lives of children with disabilities better, especially those under 25 Gabourel Lane Rehabilitation and Education for CARE six years old. Belize City persons with disabilities in Belize Freetown Road Community Rehabilitation Department CRD CRD works with children who come in conflict with the law. Belize City HHM provides very poor families with some of their very important needs like food, 144 North Front Street Hand in Hand Ministries HHM clothing, shelter, education and medical care. Belize City DHS helps families who are having problems to be able to take care of their children. 2nd Floor Commercial Center Department of Human Services DHS They also protect children who are being abused and neglected. Belize City National Committee for Families and NCFC works with other organizations to make sure that children and families can have 62 Cleghorn Street NCFC Children a better life and that their rights are protected. Belize City NDACC works to inform people about the dangers of using drugs. They also help those 38 Freetown Road National Drug Abuse Control Council NDACC who have become involved in drugs to get better. Belize City 3rd Floor Nursing School National Organization for the NOPCAN works to prevent children from being abused and neglect. They also teach Building Prevention of Child Abuse and NOPCAN families and teachers about positive discipline Cor St Thomas Street Neglect Belize City 831 Coney Drive United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF UNICEF supports Belizean organizations in programs for children and adolescents. Belize City Faber’s Road Extension Young Men’s Christian Association YMCA YMCA works to develop Belizean children through educational programmes Belize City 119 Cor Freetown & St YWCA works to create opportunities for the total development of girls and women in Young Women’s Christian Association YWCA Thomas Street Belize Belize City Princess Margaret Drive Youth Enhancement Services YES YES works with girls and young mothers to lead better lives Belize City Youth For the Future Drive Youth For the Future YFF YFF works with youths guiding and helping them to become good citizens. Belize City
Dont stop learning about your rights! Be sure to read Rights, Responsibilities & Respect A Guide to the Rights and responsibilitiesof Children under the Families and Children Act Going to Court And many more booklets for Children!