To President of UNICEF
From Mustafa Ruhi Şirin
Children’s Foundation (Turkey) President
The kids wonder
“When will the wars end, and will there ever be a moment for brotherhood?”
“Will we be able to take the first steps toward the day when children and adults work together in an ‘Age of Questions,’ which will begin with bolder and greater questions from the children of the World?”
In consideration of the need to address new issues facing the children of the world, problems whose answers have been postponed for years and have become more evident with the Covid-19 virus epidemic, the Children’s Foundation (Turkey) President Mustafa Ruhi Şirin has sent an open letter to UNICEF President Henrietta Fore on the occasion of October 4 World Children’s Day.
Şirin explained that he wrote his letter posing this question, which has remained unanswered for years, on behalf of the children of the world: “When will wars end, and will there never be a time for brotherhood?”
In Şirin’s letter, children’s problems that are yet to be resolved were listed as follows:
- The status of the world’s children is no better than it was before the Convention which was signed in 1989.
- Children, who account for one-third of the world’s population, have never received a fair and adequate share of the world’s blessings.
- Humanity has not spun a ‘cocoon of the common good’ that includes both the born and the yet-to-be-born.
- Justice for children has not yet blossomed in the world, nor has the spiral of inequality of the savage world system been rectified.
- When will we raise our voices in support of the continents and countries that suffer the most from child malnutrition — such as Africa, Asia, South America, China, India, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Somalia, Rwanda, Myanmar, East Turkestan, Iraq, and Syria?
- When will we address the tens of thousands of refugee children who die as a result of their flight?
- Should children grow up without enjoying their childhood, and suffer as a result of malnourishment, inability to attend school, exploitation as workers, and other abuse?
- The most fundamental and main obligation of humanity is to side with children and make the world a better place for their well-being. For humanity to embark on this journey is not only possible, but is the key to hope, love and peace in this world.
- With a philosophy that respects children and supports their dignity, as it contributes to every civilizational environment and universal criteria and value, we can embark on a new journey of optimism.
- Our real hope does not lie with the politicians and the systems that exploit humanity, but with our born and yet to be born children, who are God’s human love and gift.
- One of the deficits that has emerged with the Covid-19 virus epidemic is the functional deficiency of the United Nations.
- UNICEF must lead the renewal of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is an urgent need for that organization to fulfill the Convention’s function, to defend children’s rights more strongly, and to protect children against states.
- Humanity needs to sign a new contract with The Child, to “take sides with the child,” in order to achieve World Child Peace.
Mustafa Ruhi Şirin presented four recommendations to UNICEF to help the world refocus its attention on its children:
Take the perspective of children in every civilization to update the aim, criteria, principles, and function of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Revise and restructure UNICEF’s mission as a model for children and adults to work together.
Initiate the World Child Peace Movement, led by children now and in future times, for a world where all born and yet to be born children can live in peace.
Establish an effective global monitoring and inspection system, with active participation from child-related NGOs, in which every child, born or yet to be born, will be a natural member.
In the open letter written by Mustafa Ruhi Şirin to UNICEF President Henrietta Fore, some lines from the leading Turkish poets Mevlana, Nâzım Hikmet, Fazıl Hüsnü Dağlarca, Sezai Karakoç, Cahit Zarifoğlu and verses from an ancient Egyptian poem were included.
In his letter, Şirin also stated that Istanbul is ready to host the World Child Peace Declaration.
Şirin’s open letter to UNICEF President Henrietta Fore will be released to Human Rights organizations, Child Rights Defenders and international media as well as to United Nations organizations.