Dates for assembly

14th November 2003 at 00:00
November 20: Universal Children's Day First proclaimed in 1954, this day is observed by more than 100 countries as a time to honour children's needs.

Outline script for assembly leader

No more war. No more fighting. A world in which everyone lived in peace without fear and everyone had enough to eat. That was the dream of people all around the world in 1945, when the Second World War finally came to an end. That year, 51 governments joined together to form the United Nations, agreeing to work together to try to make the world a better place. Now there are 189 member countries and the aims are still the same: to create a world free from war, to help make people equal and to end poverty.

In 1959 the United Nations issued a Declaration setting out the rights a child in any country might expect. One right is the right to have a name.

Another is that every child shall have a place and time to play. The Declaration also says that all children have a right to health care and to be protected against neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination.

They shall also have the right to go to school and learn. But even after 50 years, that hasn't happened. Around the world, 115 million children still don't receive any education. Another sad fact is that, since 1945, more than 30 million people have been killed in wars around the world. So perhaps we should now try to make that dream of world peace and equality come true by remembering that, first, each of us has a duty to respect the rights of each other.

Follow-up

What would it be like not to have a name? What rights should children expect - not only from adults but from other children? What duties does that impose on each of us? Rewrite part of the Declaration in "local" terms so that it applies specifically to your school or college.

The United Nations:www.un.orgenglishindex.shtml The Declaration of the Rights of the Child: www.unhchr.chhtmlmenu3b25.htm The UN "Cyber School Bus" offers games, quizzes, competitions and briefing papers on a variety of citizenship, geographical and economics issues plus an excellent guide to setting up a "model" United Nations:www.un.orgPubsCyberSchoolBusindex.asp

Short-notice assemblies, page 13

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