Hundreds of people joined a carnival on Saturday to raise awareness of children’s rights, with the goal of building an open, respectful and appropriate growth environment for children in Macau.
The carnival held in Areia Preta Park was jointly organised by the Against Child Abuse (Macau) Association, Macau Breastfeeding and Nurturing Promotion Association, Fountain of Hope Association, and Good Shepherd Centre. The event was co-sponsored by the Social Affairs Bureau (IAS), Macau International Women’s Association, and Macau Foundation (FM).
The carnival also marked the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The co-organisers said in a statement on Saturday that through the carnival, they hoped to raise public awareness of children’s rights, children’s welfare and attention toward children’s affairs.
“The goal of the event was also to increase the degree of attention [being paid] to children with the hope that children’s unique ideas will be respected, therefore enhancing children’s participation in society, and to jointly build an open, respectful and appropriate growth environment for children in Macao.”
According to the Macau Post Daily, representatives from the Macau Breastfeeding and Nurturing Promotion Association pointed out that some of the examples where children’s rights are not respected in Macau are parents making decisions for their children, their right to play as parents pack children’s spare time with tuition, and parents keeping children’s money, such as red packets from the Chinese New Year or the government’s annual wealth-sharing handout.
“Most people do not understand the portraiture right,” Virginia Tam Chi Cheng from the Macau Breastfeeding and Nurturing Promotion Association said, pointing out that parents and also teachers take photos of children and post them on social media.
Tam said Chinese traditions and culture to a certain extent prevent some of the children’s rights from being respected, adding that there is still “room for improvement” when asked about the level of Macau people’s knowledge about children’s rights.
“I would say, not even adults know what the children’s rights are, how would kids know what their rights are?”, Tam asked rhetorically.