The short history of the Network for Children’s Rights begins in the spring of 2000 with fewer than fifteen of us, all teachers, writers, artists and journalists. And it begins with a random incident of abuse which touched us all and made us determined to take action. Up till then, none of us had even heard about the concept of children’s rights and it was during those first enquiries that we also heard about the UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed by Greece in 1992. It became evident all too quickly however that neither children’s rights nor the International Convention were known to the interested parties, namely parents, children and teachers and that furthermore they were frequently flouted at home, at school and in society.
We began discussing what sort of action we should take, how best to intervene as a group in order to disseminate the 42 articles of the Convention, how to bring other people on board and how to increase people’s respect for rights by speaking to individuals who shape public opinion. Our aim was to bring the problem to light so that Greece would begin to uphold the Convention. We wanted to put an end to the negative reports that our country was receiving internationally, to allow children’s voices to be heard, to ban corporal punishment in school and in the family, to offer support to disabled children and so much more.