Universal Children’s Day: Two hundred world renowned writers come together for children’s rights
Chimamanda Adichie, Paulo Coelho, Christina Lamb and Nuruddin Farah join writers around the world to pen ‘Tiny Stories’ highlighting the world they want for children
Photos and video are available for download here: http://weshare.unicef.org/mediaresources
TORONTO/NEW YORK, November 14, 2016 – More than 200 prominent writers including novelists, playwrights and poets, have joined a global literary campaign this week, penning ‘tiny stories’ of around seven lines each to highlight Universal Children’s Day and the injustice so many of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged children still face. The short story series kicks off UNICEF’s commemoration of its 70th year working to bring life-saving support and hope to every child.
The short stories will be shared by some of the world’s most celebrated writers with their own social media audiences. The First Lady of Finland, Jenni Haukio, introduced the concept, which gained global momentum with writers joining from Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.
“As writers we are able to advocate through the simplicity of storytelling. With this worthy and necessary campaign, we advocate for the protection of the rights of precious children all over the world,” said celebrated Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie.
One of world’s youngest published authors takes part
The group of writers, whose genres range from fairy tales to fiction, include one the world’s youngest published authors, seven-year-old South African, Michelle Nkamankeng. Written in more than 10 languages and varying in style, all stories illustrate that the rights of many children are still neglected.
“From Syria to Chad to right here in Canada, many children around the world continue to face immense hardship and undue suffering,” said David Morley, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. “Writers can not only lend their voices to the voiceless, but they can use words to touch hearts in ways that politicians and other leaders often cannot. I’m pleased to be able to share my ‘tiny story’ with the world in the hopes that our tiny actions can combine to create big change.”
Increasing threats to child rights
The campaign comes at a time when there are increasing threats to child rights. More than 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes due to conflict, poverty and climate change and millions more are facing unspeakable violence in their communities. Around 263 million children are out of school and last year nearly six million children under five died from mostly preventable diseases.
“It is shocking to see that the lives of many children are still so heavily impacted by the horror of conflict, inequality, poverty and discrimination. I hope these Tiny Stories can remind the world that we must sustain our commitment to all of these children whose lives and futures are at stake,” said Paloma Escudero, UNICEF Spokesperson.
Chimamanda Adichie used her ‘Tiny Story’ to launch the series today, which will run until November 20 - the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.