A high-school student from Cyprus took part in a key Council of Europe conference on children’s rights where he and 12 other teenagers spoke about child abuse and why children do not speak up against violence, providing solutions to tackle this issue.
Kasra Mulot, a student at the American International School in Nicosia, represented Cyprus at the Strasbourg conference attended by 300 delegates as “Hope For Children” CRC Policy Center’s Children’s Rights Ambassador.
He said, “it was really a life-changing experience.”
The conference theme was “Redefining Power: Strengthening the Rights of the Child as the Key to a Future-proof Europe”, marking the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and review the mid-term evaluation of the Strategy.
The conference focused on equal opportunities, participation, a life free from violence, child-friendly justice and the rights of the child in the digital environment, for all children.
In his speech on ‘The Power of Speaking up against Violence,’ Kasra discussed the case of Cyprus and what is being done about violence against children.
“Young people are not part of the solution; they ARE the solution. Other priority areas discussed were violence-free lives for children, child-friendly justice, equal opportunities for all children and rights of the child in the digital environment,” Kasra said.
As the conference debated the various aspects of the right of the child, the young ambassador from Cyprus said, “my favourite right it the right to be heard. I think no one can decide better than children about children. We are brave, dynamic, fearless, and full of hope and energy and we have a lot to offer.”
“Each of the other children at the conference from Albania, Germany, Malta, Serbia, Ireland, France, Georgia, UK and Ukraine is involved in an NGO related to children in their own country and each one covered a particular topic on children’s rights. We worked well together because we all had the same goal.”
“Cyprus is on the right track because there has been a lot of positive changes regarding children’s rights, but there’s still lots more to be done.”
“The number one thing is to raise more awareness about children’s rights in general. I think that once children are aware of their rights and also where to turn to in case their rights are violated, they will be more inclined to speak up. We need to educate everyone.”
Kasra said he wants to encourage children to become Children’s Rights Ambassadors through their schools’ CRC Campus Clubs, “which give you the right tools and knowledge to know your rights and responsibilities, protect yourself and be able to raise awareness and make a change.”