KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: The right to leisure, recreation and cultural activities

Do you have time to take a break, relax and play with your friends? Do you get an opportunity to learn and enrich your knowledge about your culture? The answer should be yes because it is your right to have time to do all the things mentioned above.

Do you have time to take a break, relax and play with your friends? Do you get an opportunity to learn and enrich your knowledge about your culture? The answer should be yes because it is your right to have time to do all the things mentioned above.

Article 12 paragraph one of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) says that countries which signed the charter should “recognise the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.”

 

Resting has very many benefits. For example, scientists have found that during sleep, your body releases somatotropin, a hormone that promotes growth. Additionally, during sleep, your cells are repaired and your muscles are strengthened. Sleeping also improves your immune system.

 

This means that the right to leisure, reaction and cultural activities naturally supports your right to grow.  Article 10 of law no. 54/2011 of 14/12/2011 relating to the rights and the protection of children says, “Every child shall have the right to be provided with special protection by his/her family, the Rwandan community and the Government for his/her physical, mental, spiritual, moral, psychological and social growth according to the human dignity.”

 

By participating in leisure, recreation and cultural activities, you achieve a high level of physical, social, psychological, mental, spiritual and moral growth. Article 12 paragraph two of the ACRWC says that countries which signed the charter shall “respect and promote the right of the child to fully participate in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activities.”

The right to participate in cultural activities is also stated in article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Participating in cultural and artistic activities helps you to discover your true identity, and to develop new skills such as artistic abilities and to make new discoveries. When you make new discoveries, you have copyrights to the new material you have produced. This is according to article 27 paragraph two of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

So if your parents are making you sleep early, if your school is organising cultural galas and if you are being asked to participate in games and sports, it is for your own good.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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