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Weekly Roundup: Friday April 13

If you are looking for this week’s top global stories about children’s rights, then read our quick weekly round-up. This week we look at the 2018 Conference on the Value of Play; empowering autistic children with coding and how corporations can protect children’s rights with their policies and products.

2018 Conference on the Value of Play

The 2018 Conference on the Value of Play took place this week, April 8-11, at Clemson University in South Carolina. The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘The Many Faces of Play’. It featured a number of keynote panel discussions such as ‘The Implications of Race on Play for Youth of Color.

The event brings together leading play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the United States.

Empowering autistic children with coding

To commemorate the World Autism Awareness Day 2018, Microsoft Malaysia joined forces with Rock the Spectrum Gym to organise an Hour of Code in Kuala Lumpur. During the event children on the autism spectrum were introduced to coding with a Minecraft tutorial. As reported by the New Straits Times, the event took place at Rock the Spectrum Gym, an autism-focused, indoor playground and kids’ gym that prides itself on being a sensory-safe environment ideal for children with autism. K. Raman, Microsoft Malaysia’s Managing Director, said: “Empowerment begins with inclusion, and we firmly believe that the joys of technology should be shared with everyone, especially youth, as today’s digital natives are tomorrow’s digital workforce.”

Global Child Forum 10th edition

Wednesday April 11 saw the start of the 10th edition of the Global Child Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. Founded in 2009 by the Swedish Royal Family, Global Child Forum is a leading forum for children’s rights and business dedicated to innovative thinking, knowledge-sharing and networking. More than 300 participants from around the world came to identify solutions for the most pressing issues with regard to companies’ ability to affect children’s rights.

The participants represented global corporations, financial institutions, the United Nations, government and universities and royal families. Members of the Swedish Royal family attended, as well as Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. Princess Laurentien is King Willem-Alexander’s sister-in-law and the founder of Missing Chapter Foundation which works to give children a voice in society.

During the forum, the 2018 Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, developed by UNICEF and the Global Child Forum was showcased. Ulrika Nilsson, Global Child Forum’s Managing Director, said: “Together with UNICEF, we want to encourage businesses to empower children to thrive and achieve their full potential.” The Atlas is a digital tool that allows businesses to identify potential impacts and opportunities that their practices and policies have on children’s lives globally. The interactive platform features indices, global interactive maps, country analysis and data, and industry spotlights.”

King Carl Gustaf of Sweden said: “Businesses hold great power. But they do not operate in a vacuum. Whether large or small, they are part of a greater community. For children’s rights to be truly realised, collaboration is necessary. Companies, governments and civil society must work together, side by side.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist and the Community Manager of Child in the City.

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