Embassy Participates in Children’s Rights Conference Sponsored by Warsaw’s Akademeia High School Students

Akademeia High School Students and Cultural Affairs Officer Dan Hastings

On February 7, Cultural Affairs Officer Dan Hastings took part in the Children’s Rights Conference organized by the motivated students at Warsaw’s Akademeia High School.  Receiving the official patronage of UNICEF Poland, the conference honored the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the UN General Assembly in November 1989.  The goal of the conference was to disseminate awareness of Children’s Rights among high school students and to inspire youth to seek answers to the many controversial questions surrounding children today.  The Cultural Affairs Officer focused his remarks on the importance of acceptance and inclusion of children with special needs, drawing on his own personal experience raising a child born with an intellectual disability.  In his presentation called “Be a Lion, Love a Lamb,” he challenged the students to engage, support, include, and learn from children with special needs, citing his family’s own experience.  He also challenged them to combat stereotypes, biases, and misunderstandings about children with special needs, urging them to become advocates for awareness, acceptance, and inclusion.  Other speakers at the conference included Yehoshua Ellis, the Chief Rabbi of Katowice and Sląsk; Uzunma Bell-Gam, the spouse of the Ambassador of Nigeria to Poland; Krzysztof Laszkiewicz, the plenipotentiary of the Commandant of the Head of Police for Human Rights; Aseel Shrourou Khalefa, the spouse of the Ambassador of Palestine to Poland; Natalia Gebert, the Cofounder of the Dom Otwarty Initiative; and Joanna Radziwiłł, the President of the Opiekuńcze Skrzydła Foundation, among others.