Kazakhstan Celebrates Child Protection Day
UNICEF Kazakhstan launched a “Leave No Child Out “ information campaign on Child Protection Day, 1 June 2005, to bring public attention to child-related issues.
Mr. Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, together with Ms. Aitkul Samakova, Minister of Environmental Protection and the Chairperson of the National Commission for Family and Women’s Affairs, Mr. Rakhmet Mukashev, the First Vice-Minister of Justice, and Ms. Valentina Sivryukova, President of the Confederation of Non-Governmental Organizations of Kazakhstan, presented the 2005 State of the World’s Children Report “Childhood Under Threat” in the new Parliament building. The event was chaired and moderated by Mr. Madiyar Kozhakhmet, Executive Director of the Congress of Youth of Kazakhstan.
The keynote speakers and guests at the ceremony exchanged ideas on the current state of the world’s children. Participants then discussed country-specific child problems, namely, high child and maternal mortality rates, obstacles to flour fortification, alarming trends in HIV/AIDS infections, unregulated juvenile justice issues, and what further legislation was needed to tackle these issues nationwide and at the highest political level. Participants included prominent Parliamentarians, national Ministers and vice-ministers, as well as resident representatives of the donor community and NGO sector in Kazakhstan. There was unanimous agreement to address the President with an appeal on behalf of all participants to revise the legislative frameworks in Kazakhstan to bring them into line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
The UNICEF Representative gave several interviews to mass media, including a live 30-minute prime-time interview on the main national TV channel “Khabar”. He spoke about UNICEF global and country programme activities and achievements. The interview was followed by a session of telephone hotline questions from all over the country about the role of UNICEF in serving the best interests of children in Kazakhstan.
In Almaty, Kazakhstan’s “southern capital”, UNICEF helped to organize several special events for children together with the Almaty City Mayor’s Office in the city’s main public spaces. These included children’s concerts, sports competitions and drawing contests. UNICEF staff in Almaty visited Kenes Centre of Temporary Isolation, Adaptation and Rehabilitation of Disabled Children, the non-governmental educational institution for mentally disabled children who live with their families and attend classes at this centre as day school. In the evening, some Almaty children were able to see famous Kazakh and Russian singers performing at a concert for youth, also organized with support from the UNICEF Country Office.
Over the week, the Astana City Mayor’s Office organised a concert for Astana children, a Regional Forum of Young Journalists, Astana City Arts Festival for Disabled Children, the Republican Arts Festival for Disabled Children, as well as a session of the students’ debating club dedicated to the promotion of the CRC.
Prior to the launch of the “Leave No Child Out” information campaign, UNICEF held a workshop for mass media on the CRC and child-friendly writing/reporting, followed by the announcement of a year-long competition for the best news and arts feature stories about children. The workshop participants said the event was the first of its kind for 13 years and endorsed UNICEF’s plan to establish a National Information Network for Children and Youth in Kazakhstan.