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An interview with Carol Bellamy

By Spiros Tzelepis, Greece

An interview with UNICEF's executive director.

The idea for this interview occurred to me three months ago when I participated in a chat with Mrs Bellamy, held by UNICEF for the Hague Appeal for Peace. During this chat I had the chance to hear children's voices from all over the world and share their concern about problems they face. It was then when I thought that a discussion with a person who is involved in all official activities referring to the problems of the world's children and who is really interested in children's participation in the policy making process would be of great interest. Therefore, I asked Mrs Bellamy to be our guest and she responded to my request very kindly giving her precious time to me.
  1. Spiros Tzelepis: Which do you consider the most important right of all children's rights?
  2. S.T: I read in the newspapers that 174 countries recently decided to fight against child labour. Taking into account that about 250 million children are involved in child labour, how do these decisions become real action against child labour?
  3. S.T.: It is known to everyone that many multinational companies use childlabour. The dilemma is which is the most appropriate way for the rest of us to face this: Should we protest and boycott them or should we press them to improve the work conditions because if these children stop working they will face extreme poverty and hunger.
  4. S.T: How can children influence the policy making process? Is this feasible for children of the developing world, taking into account that they have other pressing priorities, like survival?
  5. S.T: How can children from the developed countries help those from the developing ones? What I mean is not only charities, but by an immediate involvement in this process? For example, I have in mind the possibility of pressing their governments to give technical and economic help to the developing countries so they will be developed and make their citizens able to live with dignity.
  6. S.T.: How technology can help towards this direction? For example in education.
  7. S.T.: We know that many countries like the European Union countries have food supplies which they usually destroy. How could we all organize a movement so that these products will be sent to those who suffer?

Conclusion by the author

I suppose that what comes as a conclusion from above is that the children of our planet will live in a better world when all of us be active, concerned and caring.Even if some adults have forgotten the meaning of these words, there are the kids of the world who can find a way to remind these concepts to them. I am sure that we can do this.

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Reconstruction: July-August-September 2002

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