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Today UNICEF NZ (UN Children’s Fund) officially launched ‘For Each and Every Child/ He Taonga Tonu te Tamariki’, an inspiring new book that celebrates and champions children’s rights, at Wellington City Library.
The event was well attended, with guests including Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. Entertainment was provided from Apirana Taylor, a well-known Kiwi storyteller, and readings by children from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngā Mokopuna and Mt Cook schools in Wellington.
Since the beginning of this week, book launches have taken place around the country in libraries, schools and early childhood centres. At least 60 different locations are hosting their own ‘Read & Rights’ events to introduce the book to children in their local communities, so that children can learn about and discover the relevance of their own set of human rights
‘For Each and Every Child/ He Taonga Tonu te Tamariki’ is illustrated by New Zealand artists and written in a way that children will understand and enjoy. The book features Maori text alongside the English, with a foreword written by Chief Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft.
UNICEF’s National Advocacy Manager, Barbara Lambourn said, “We are delighted by the response the book has received from the public and wish to thank the libraries, schools and early childhood centres who have taken part by hosting their own Read and Rights events.
“‘For Each and Every Child/ He Taonga Tonu te Tamariki’ is a unique and inspiring book with an important message. It celebrates our children’s rights and gives us the opportunity to tell Kiwi children, their families and their iwi about those rights through their own language and imagery.”
Last year UNICEF NZ joined forces with child advocates in Christchurch to trial ‘Read & Rights’ events which aimed to raise awareness of reading about and discussing children’s rights using a UK version of the book. With more than 400 children and 100 adults, including 64 early childhood students, the response was very enthusiastic and paved the way for a New Zealand edition of the book produced by Learning Media.
Ms Lambourn added, “Getting children to read about and understand their rights is very important in raising awareness of the concept and we’re thrilled that local libraries and early childhood centres are working with UNICEF NZ to make this happen.
“The book’s launch and accompanying ‘Read and Rights’ events coincide with the anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention On the Rights of the Child on November 20, 1989 – one of the most key events for children in history. Please get involved with an event near you and help ensure everyone understands the importance of our children’s rights,” Ms Lambourn said.
To find out more about For Each and Every Child/ He Taonga Tonu te Tamariki and events happening in your area, please visit http://www.unicef.org.nz/ReadAndRights
For Each and Every Child/ He Taonga Tonu te Tamariki is being distributed free to libraries, primary and intermediate schools, and early childhood centres. It can also be purchased now at a retail price of $15 from www.unicef.org.nz. Books will be stocked at The Warehouse and New Zealand Post (book outlet stores) throughout New Zealand in the near future.