Another November for the Rights of Boys and Girls

Another November for the Rights of Boys and Girls
Fecha de publicación: 
28 November 2023
Imagen principal: 

The Hemicycle of the south wing of the Capitol in Havana "is a beautiful room, made to bring together important people, those who make the laws," told me this Monday, November 20 one of the Cuban children who gathered there to talk about children

The first word, the one that broke the ice, was respect: "We children do have rights and they are reflected in respecting each other the way we are," said a pioneer from the José Martí basic secondary school in the first intervention of a debate that became a master class for us, adults with so much to learn and stand in equal foot with our children and teenagers .

In this purpose joined, Ana María Mari Machado, Vice President of the National Assembly of People's Power, Aylín Álvarez, First Secretary of the Young Communist’s League, among other deputies to the Cuban Parliament and UNICEF representatives in Cuba.

The best thing about this story is that UNICEF Cuba plans to multiply it in 11 provinces of the country during the event that will last until November 24, because although this anniversary of the implementation, in 1989, of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, comes After the approval in Cuba of a new Comprehensive Policy for Children, Adolescents and Youth and in the midst of a regulatory update process, children like Marcos continue to need their opinion to be heard, because "sometimes, it has the answer to some problems" and also because "that’s an adult problem", it’s an insufficient argument for the new generations who know their right to choose what they prefer.

The opportunity to express oneself, to participate in decisions, both at home and at school, are rights that were discussed a lot at the meeting this Monday, where they also gave us a lecture on respect for individual differences, privacy and the total rejection of discrimination for any reason: race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.

With impressive clarity and feeling, they spoke of divorced fathers who don’t fulfill their obligations and of mothers who deprive them of the right to continue sharing with their parents or grandparents after separation, of siblings who don’t knock on the door before entering the room, and from classmates or teachers who don’t respect their individual spaces. They talked about bullying and social networks where adults should not upload photos without their consent.

They stated that they don’t want to lose the right they have in Cuba to free education and health, they said it without learned by heart principles, it just came out naturally. They raised their disagreements without turning them into lynchings or useless complaints, they are something else.

When a 14-year-old girl said that she always defended her gay friend from the ridicule of some classmates and made it clear that everyone has the right to live their sexuality freely, the National President of the Pioneers Organization José Martí agreed with pride and asked her do you know what was recently approved? "Of course, the new Family Code, I was there taking care of the ballot boxes," she replied in the middle of the room dressed in blue for the rights of children and adolescents.

No wonder, UNICEF had expressed in its press release that it supports national efforts to transform legal norms, but also behaviors and beliefs that limit the recognition of children and adolescents as subjects of rights, since pass the laws dwell prejudices that we have been nurturing for centuries and are a burden for new generations to have what they deserve: a full childhood.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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