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Childrens Day turns 20 today! How happy is the day for boys and girls in 2009?

Universal Children's Day celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Well and truly grown up then! 

You might think that with the Day that aims to protect the rights of the child having been around for so many years, conditions for boys and girls around the world will have improved significantly. Sadly however in our morning news round up today, we in the press team found that to be far from the case.

We were first startled by the case of a nine-year-old Iranian boy facing deportation from the UK after being held in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre. Earlier this year, Sir Al Aynsley-Green, England’s children's commissioner described Yarl's Wood as "like being in prison" for children. This is pretty concerning stuff and Amnesty is monitoring developments. It’s shocking to think that children can be treated with such inhumanity here in the UK.

Further afield, in the United States – another country where you might not think that children’s rights are being abused – is the story of the ten-year-old girl who was Tasered by police officers in her own home. According to the young girl’s mother called the police after her daughter was being unruly and had refused to take a shower. The officer who shocked the young girl was later suspended – but not for Tasering the girl but for failing to turn his video camera on to record the incident.

Then we heard of the terrible incident of a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head by his father for allegedly sexually abusing his half-sister. A tragic story from beginning to end and for all involved really.

If all these stories aren’t heartbreaking enough, Amnesty today has issued a plea to the authorities in Albania not to place children in orphanages unnecessarily.

Many of these children have a parent or other close relatives, but their families cannot afford to support them. Amnesty’s urging the government to provide support to families which are particularly poor, so that they may raise their children within the family.

It’s a shame to have to paint such a bleak picture.  Not wanting to end this blog with such disheartening news about children (it is Friday after all), I spotted this interesting blog about Google Doodle which is marking Children’s Day (featured on the US site I think as it doesn’t appear to be on The Doodle was designed by seven-year-old Puru Pratap Singh. It’s an excellent design from such a young boy.  Do check it out when you can.
Although Children’s Day has been around for a few years now, it’s work is definitely not done. We still need Days like this to remind us we have a long way to go before we see the rights of children fully protected.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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