Play is a fundamental child’s right, and an indispensable element of the physical, social, cognitive, and emotional development of every child. However many children around the world lack safe spaces to play and toys that support their development. There are serious consequences of denying children their right to play. In particular, children in crisis situations need the healing power of play although this necessity is often ignored in these situations. We have the responsibility and the power to ensure that every child enjoys their right to play.
According to UNICEF 41 million children who are forced to live under difficult conditions due to conflict, disaster and other incidents in the world in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.  These children need to play more than ever.
Even though many humanitarian organizations provide basic assistance such as shelter and food, play and education are often thrown into the secondary plan. About 3% of all humanitarian funds go toward education. We cannot measure the portion of the play in these funds. Surprisingly, children receive the least amount of support even though they are the ones who suffer the most in these crisis situations.
There is also good news on the agenda of child’s right to play in crisis situations. In 2013, The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child highlighted the play needs of children in very challenging circumstances in its General Comment:
“Opportunities for play, recreation and cultural activity can play a significant therapeutic and rehabilitative role in helping children recover a sense of normality and joy after their experience of loss, dislocation and trauma.”
With our Kickstarter campaign in 2018, we delivered more than 1000 Toyi kits to children in need with the operational partnerships made with 8 civil society organizations. We continue to work with CSOs all around the world to support child’s right to play, especially in play-in-crisis settings. We develop play experiences and organize workshops for children with these partnerships. Join our community to support child’s right to play and make the world children’s playground!
Workshop Host Hayatsür Association
Photo Credit Didem Kendik