The topic of the rights of children to question adults has been raised when someone is telling the children of Macuata to exercise their human rights and sometimes not to be silent. The traditional role is for children to obey elders and not to argue back... though I'm sure that city kids in Suva may be different! Sometimes. Well, it's an old story - one of the earliest pieces of advice from thousands of years ago was that 'children don't obey their parents like they used to!'.
Here is how the Fiji Times wrote up the story;
Exercise your rights, Northern children told
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
THE Fiji Human Rights Commission has encouraged students in the Northern Division to exercise their rights.
It has been noticed that students of the division do not exercise their rights compared to the counterparts in the Central Division, according to Fiji Human Rights Commission legal officer Sova Colavanua. She said children in the North were disciplined and hesitant to raise their views on issues. "There is a difference among the children of Labasa and Suva and that difference is the students of the north lack the practice of their rights," Ms Colavanua said.
"Children in the North are aware of human rights, what it is about and their impact but they aren't exercising it in real life. For example, a child (in Suva) will question a teacher if something is handed to him which he or she is uncomfortable with.
"Children here are much more disciplined and they would choose not to voice their concerns." She said there must be a change from the traditional way of not questioning elders. Ms Colavanua said children must exercise their rights with responsibility. "Students need to be disciplined and have respect for others and if they need to voice their concerns against a particular issue, then they must do it the right way, which is respectfully and responsibly," she said.
The Fiji Human Rights Commission will visit 11 schools in the North this week to create awareness and training on child rights, human rights and the responsibility of teachers, parents and students.
The team of four will visit Seaqaqa Central College today.