On the International day for protection of children, I would like to remind briefly about the essence of the Children’s day which is unfortunately celebrated superficially nowadays, full of different entertainments and naive useless wishes to take care of children. The variety of events held to “remind about children and their rights” is really impressive – from funny clowns to anti-abortion protests! For some reason, whatever they do all well-wishers together cannot protect children’s rights in reality. We still reсieve the UNICEF messages about poverty as the main cause of the violation of the Rights of the child which seriously impedes access to housing, healthcare, water, food and education. They call the situation faced by the children of the world not just disastrous, but “desperate”. How can something like that happen in the 21st century?! Despite the scientific and technical progress, the globalization, high information technologies – is the mankind really helpless?
In fact, many honest and dignified people – social activists, priests, lawyers – sounded the alarm about the situation of children throughout Europe 200 years ago. They were monitoring and writing reports on this issue. They applied petitions and convened the committees. They even succeeded sometimes in achieving some changes in laws, but those changes were insignificant to really change the situation of children. Children were severely exploited. They often worked in an environment which was harmful to health and morality. Many things that seem natural now, such as: healthy food, health care, basic education remained available to a few chosen ones only. It is not worth to mention well-organized healthy and self-developing leisure time activities neither cultural education because none of them existed at all
Why was the situation so tragic? Were the adults 100–200 years ago too stupid to realize the basic children’s needs? Perhaps, people were extremely cruel and unconcerned, weren’t they? Certainly not. His Majesty Capital establishes that kind of order. Indeed, capital amiably labled “the invisible hand of market” sets the ground rules of this brutal game. Therefore, as long as the political formation is ruled by capital, it is deaf to the tears of sufferers and blind to the needs of the mankind.
That is what the organizers of all kinds of activities on June 1 shamefully keep silent about. That is what numerous child defenders, human rights promoters and other well-wishers do not realize and do not want to understand.
After all it is not enough to proclaim human rights – you should create the opportunities to implement them accordingly. It is simple indeed. The children’s right to an adequate standard of living is provided by the availability of affordable housing. The right to education is provided by affordable schools, teachers, textbooks, programs and reasonable methods of teaching. The right to health – by well-functioning health care system, disease prevention measures and healthy nutrition. The right to rest and leisure – by stadiums, playgrounds, camps etc. Finally, if you want to implement the right to life you should primarily stop wars… As you see, in spite of all the benefits the mass creation of those conditions does not lead to any profit, but even losses. That is why it is just impossible under capitalism. Thus, the only way the society can protect children is to establish another social order. It must have the opposite framework.
We have got a historical experience confirming that. In the period when profits were not the production purpose in our country any more, after the dictatorship of the proletariat was established – then the conditions for the actual protection of children occurred. The power of the Soviets has proved in practice that the respect of children’s rights is implementable only in a socialistic country, because everyone works in the interests of the whole society and, therefore, there is a reason to invest in such an “unprofitable business”.
At that time, the success of the young soviet power and widely spread popularity of the idea of communism was really frightening the bourgeoisie of the capitalist part of the world. So, they had to make some significant concessions to the working class, refusing to raise the rate of surplus value in favour of some social benefits for the people. They threw crumbs from the master’s table in order to maintain their own dictatorship. Even the International Children’s Day that we celebrate on June 1 was established at the initiation of the Women’s International Democratic Federation, which was an organization with a socialist ideology. Who knows whether the UN would support the idea of the celebration if it was not 1949 – the war had just ended, the wounds were still painful, the effects were too evident and the horrible memories were too distinct.
Thus, if we really intend to protect children we should honestly recognize the true, underlying cause of their problems. We should stop lying to ourselves about charity. We should overcome self-deception and naive illusions concerning all kinds of “success stories ”. We should find the power that would be able to solve the problems of children. There is such power in society. That power is asleep for the time being, but it must be woken up.
That power is the working class.
So, as long as you are really concerned about children, about their present and future, you must support workers in their fight for the interests of all working people.