The Dutch park that celebrates liberation and the rights of the child in one memorial
The liberation park in Groningen, the Netherlands, consists of 30,000 maple trees of five different variants. The trees were a ‘gift’ from the Canadian liberators after World War 2.
Running along an educational path, are rocks placed from ten different countries. One of the rocks is embossed with the ‘Ten Rights of the Child’. The need for special safeguards has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924. Whereas, mankind owes to the child the best it has to give, therefore, the General Assembly of UNICEF proclaims;
The Ten Rights of the Child
- Children have the right to their own opinion.
- Children have the right to protection from violence.
- Children have a right to education.
- Children have the right to their own culture.
- Children have the right to food.
- Children have the right to health.
- Children have the right to peace.
- Children have the right to grow up with their parents.
- Children have the right to equal opportunity.
- Children are entitled to protection against child labor.
On the stone is an ‘eleventh straight’ applied, which establishes a link between the liberation of Holland in 1945 and today’s youth.
The inscription on this plaque reads:
“CHILDREN HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM, TO PLAY IN THE OPEN AIR.”
Affected children have the right to play in schoolyards that are free from shrubs and trees that are well-known triggers to allergies and asthma.
Author: Peter Prakke
Photo credits: Photo by Jim Champion (www.flickr.com/photos/treehouse1977/6425938011/)