All throughout the flight and bus rides prior to the conference, I was overcome with anticipation for the days to come. International relations, especially regarding human rights, was a passion of mine, so I was eager to learn more from this conference, cooperate with like-minded students and adults, and grow from this experience. While traveling there, the three of us spent time reading the research packet written by Professor Liefaard from Leiden Law School and Dr. Bina D’Costa, both of whom are leading individuals at UNICEF. Along with an exhaustive list on the international treaties and conventions, the research packet outlined the three main issues ingrained in the theme of Children's Rights: State Provision for Survival and Development, Protection of Vulnerable Children, and Participation and Involvement of Children in Decision-Making.
The opening ceremonies took place on Tuesday, 7 November, featuring keynote speakers, including a Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, members of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF specialists, and more. Their speeches were insightful, drawing in issues that pertain to their area of specialty. The vast seminar auditorium we sat in, accompanied by cameramen and formal representatives, added to to the fascinating atmosphere of the experience.