In cooperation with UNICEF, the University of Leiden held a one week conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Experts from all over the world came together to discuss different issues that affect today’s children life, such as poverty, child abuse/molestation and (illegal) immigration. On Thursday, November 20th , UNICEF organized a so-called “Child Rights Top”, the highlight of the week. Among the invited guests were Princess Beatrix and her daughter in law, princess Laurentine and members of the Kingdom Youth Parliament, of which Saba’s Nataly Linzey participated on behalf of the BES islands.
“It was an honor of being able to attend the event. It was an even bigger honor to be one of the speakers”, Linzey said. Currently she is doing her Bachelor thesis in Leiden on “the right to education” with the focus on the educational structure on St. Maarten. “The task force in charge of tackling the child rights issues on the islands has made a concept document describing the recommendations they will be making. I will be discussing it with my colleagues at the Youth Parliament. And we will be giving our input to the document before the final version is published”.
On Friday, Linzey was a guest at the Second Chamber, along with some delegates from St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao. There, they discussed the possible ways of getting the child rights issues higher on the agenda of the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. In closing she said, “There is a lot which needs to be done in this area and this is just the beginning. When we think Child Rights, we always place the responsibility in the hands of the government or the parents, but we too, have a responsibility as a community. It takes three pillars to tackle these issues, not just two. I look forward to being of assistance to the islands with this regard”.