Foreword to "Childhood Stolen"
by Suzanne Vega
My name is Suzanne Vega and I have helped the work of Amnesty International since 1988.
Recently, I began working with the Working Group for Children, the division of Amnesty International devoted to the rights of children caught in the political crossfire. I have done a lot of work for organisations devoted to children in one way or another, especially since "Luka", my song about child abuse, became a hit in 1987.
The Working Group for Children impressed me because of its clear statements of what children's human rights are. Childhood is where humanity begins. Therefore, any discussion of human rights must include the rights of children: the right from birth to a name, to acquire a nationality and to know and be cared for by his or her parents; and the right of a child to play, recreational activities and to participate in cultural and artistic life. Being human alone entitles children to protection, but the fact that they are small and more vulnerable entitles them to special protection, which Amnesty International outlines for us in the following document. This argument may seem obvious. It is not, as you will find out.
I am grateful to Amnesty International for outlining these principles for the world to see, and hopefully to follow. I urge you to read it.
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