Posts filed under ‘Somalia’

Oh Mr President, Please….

I wanted to open with a little reminder of why I do this. The premise is simple. You donate to a childrens charity and comment on this blog about the donation and what you wanted to be when you were 8. Want to know more? Please read the About Lesley page….

I am reading the latest book by John Connolly, The Burning Soul. Some say Mr Connolly’s books are not for the faint-hearted but I am a big fan. True, his themes can be hard but the writing and plotlines are just excellent. However, it was one sentence within the book that has given me the theme for this post. I didn’t know this fact and can’t help but wonder both why I didn’t know and why no-one is talking about this?

The sentence that stunned me? I don’t want to spoil the book so cannot quote directly but I read that one action was in contravention of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, which only the USA and Somalia have failed to raitfy. That made me sit up and take notice.

I started a little Google-fest to research this post.

Most of my research has come from Unicef. Unicef’s mission is to advocate for the rights of the child. They are guided in doing this by the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. I will quote from their website to give you the full message, this always deserves to be heard.

‘Built on varied legal systems and cultural traditions, the Convention is a universally agreed set of non-negotiable standards and obligations. These basic standards—also called human rights—set minimum entitlements and freedoms that should be respected by governments. They are founded on respect for the dignity and worth of each individual, regardless of race, colour, gender, language, religion, opinions, origins, wealth, birth status or ability and therefore apply to every human being everywhere. With these rights comes the obligation on both governments and individuals not to infringe on the parallel rights of others. These standards are both interdependent and indivisible; we cannot ensure some rights without—or at the expense of—other rights.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. In 1989, world leaders decided that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too.’

Great words, all of them. I agree with them completely. So, what is the status of this Convention?

I caveat this next paragraph by saying that this is based on my research. You may think it is limited, that could be true but I could not find any words to contradict this post. I am happy for anyone to comment here with more detail and even to tell me that I am wrong. I would happily be wrong.

The current status of the Convention is that only two countries, Somalia and the United States have not ratified this agreement. Somlia cannot ratify the Convention as it has no recognised Government. This tells a tale of many more underlying issues. However, the United States has an established and recognised Government but has not yet ratified. What puzzles me is the US Government were actively involved in the drafting of the Convention. They have signed the Convention but full acceptance requires ratification.

I understand that there may be concerns within some political groups with regard to this ratification. Apparently some feel that it might chip away at the US Constitution. The Constitution is an amazing thing and I can see how many seek to protect it above all else. Also,  I recognise that it would be embarrassing to propose ratification and lose. However, does that mean you shouldn’t try?

This is my message to President Barack Obama. Please try. If you don’t succeed, then keep trying. Try until you succeed. Try until we see this –

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

November 12, 2011 at 10:30 pm 4 comments

Imagine.

Today was and still is Monday. After a couple of domestic disasters last week, exploding shower causing flooding in the kitchen, I felt that the weekend had been far too short. I woke this morning and wanted to just turn over and dream for a little longer. Needless to say I got up and went to work.

It was that kind of day though. You know the kind I mean? I did all the things I needed to and prepared for a busy today tomorrow. I then came home and was, quite simply, grumpy and tired. It took me ages to gee myself up to do a few bits and bobs round the house.

Then I did what I do every day at the moment. I went to the BBC news site for Africa.If you ever want to stop a pity-party then that is the cure. They say if you want to understand someone else’s life then walk a mile in their shoes, I will briefly try.

My alarm wakens me in the morning. My family are all sleeping peacefully at this time, just after 6am. I like to lie there for a minute or two and listen to the birds singing in the trees behind my house. I then quietly slip out of bed. I have about 40 minutes of precious time on my own to shower and get ready. It really is one of my favourite parts of the day once I have recovered from the shock of waking. I love the quiet, no talking, just me and my thoughts.

So, if I was a mother in Dadaab, what would my morning be like? The heat would start to rise as dawn breaks and the noise starts to build. The smell I imagine would be harsh, a camp built for less than 100,000 people with over 300,000 in place would struggle with sanitation; it would have to be extended and extended to cope with the numbers. Thoughts of disease such as cholera and diarrhoea would then strike you, how to protect your children from this? I imagine that would be a constant thread of fear in my head.

But the worst part I can imagine? The sounds of children. Hungry and distressed babies have a very unique cry, it sounds hoarse and from the back of the throat. I know the sound from when my children were ill for, thankfully, short periods. It is the most heart-rending sound I know, guttural and primal. You know the sound I mean.

Next time I want to have myself a pity-party I will remind myself of this post.

I close with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 1, 2011 at 10:55 pm 4 comments


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