On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Basia Vucic, PhD researcher at the Institute of Education, University College London, Board member of the International Korczak Association , and Affiliated Researcher at the UNESCO / Janusz Korczak Chair in Social Pedagogy, Poland, delves into Poland's proposal of the UNCRC to recover a 'hidden' history of child rights traced 'East' to the Russian Empire.
The history of child rights is framed by ‘save the children’ and articulated from the perspective of the capital and lawmakers; that is Great Britain, the United States or Geneva. More than a decade before the League of Nations’ declaration, a group of Polish doctors hatched a daring political plan. Amongst the members, was the famous educator, Janusz Korczak and bacteriologist, Ludwik Rajchman, the founder of UNICEF. This revolutionary atmosphere also elicited the world's first legislative declaration of child rights, the 1917 Moscow Declaration, written by Konstantin Wentzel (Teitelbaum, 1947, p. 357-358; Danilkina, 2013, p122). However, Korczak, Rajchman nor Wentzel rarely rate more than mentions in official accounts of child rights’ history. Exploring rights as a political tool in the struggle against oppression expands the response available to charges of the UNCRC as 'continuing colonial imperialism' (Tisdall & Punch, 2012).
Please join us. A light sandwich lunch will be provided.