Rights matter. We matter. Don’t lose hope― a 90-second speech for Human Rights Day

On Human Rights Day – 10 December – Commissioner Bruce Adamson gave a 90 second speech to the Human Rights Consortium about his hopes for the future and for the human rights of children and young people. This is what he said:

In 2021 I hope for change.  

This week we celebrated Human Rights Day in the middle of a global pandemic which has disproportionally affected those children whose rights were already most at risk― disabled children, care experienced children and children impacted by poverty.   

With Brexit, and retrogressive attacks on human rights across the world it is easy tolose hope.   

But I’m optimistic that change is coming in 2021.   

I get to work with children and young people – and will help lead the change.   

This week we saw the launch of the UN implementation guide on child human rights defenders.

The youth panel on Brexit made their next set of recommendations. 

And you can be sure that young human rights defenders will be making their voices heard at COP26 next year on climate justice.  

Change is also coming as the incorporation of the UNCRC blazes a trail and brings children’s rights into Scots law in a new way.  

Fully and directly incorporating the Convention is the most important thing we can do to ensure children’s rights.  

It breathes life into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance broad array of rights.  

I’m confident that the Scottish Parliament will pass the bill early in the new year, and I hope that children don’t face a delay in commencement of something they have been waiting for decades.  

Because in 2021 I want to see achange in the way we consider rights in decision making and that children and young people participate in decision making – particularly in addressing issues like poverty.  

In 2021 I want to see a change in the way child human rights defenders are acknowledged, encouraged and supported.  

You gave me 90 seconds (which is a tough ask) – last year we gave children just 7 words to tell a story about human rights. 

Some of my favourites are: 

My rights are my armour to me  

My rights give me power, freedom, courage.   

And in a year where it has been easy to lose hope I’ll give the last word to 7-year-old Cayden who shared his thoughts with us:

Rights matter. We matter. Don’t lose hope.  

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