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Kazakhstan: international conference on protection of child rights

© UNICEF Kazahstan 2005
Mr. Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative, with the young winners of the "My Family" Art Contest

Astana, 24-25 November 2005. More than 100 delegates gathered in Astana for the first International Scientific-Research Conference on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Child. Participants from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Lithuania and the Russian Federation joined the Conference, which discussed child rights issues, and the observance and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Opening the Conference, the Ombudsman Mr. Bulat Baikadamov stressed that Kazakhstan took on obligations to promote and ensure the observance of child rights nationwide when it ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The basis for sustainable development of our society lies in awareness-raising to improve the attitude of grown-ups towards children and their rights, and improvement of the legal culture for children themselves”, he said.

Participants discussed the weakening of the family in modern society, and the resulting impact on children, including social orphans, juvenile delinquents, children with disabilities, child workers, children who use drugs or alcohol, those who experience violence and other children who face discrimination and exclusion.

Discussions were based on the recognition that child-oriented policies alone would not solve these problems without coordination across different sectors to monitor child rights. The Conference debated the political measures, laws, mechanisms and social programmes – backed by adequate resources – that are needed to solve these problems and adopted a range of recommendations to the Government of Kazakhstan.

The participants, who came from governments, NGOs and international organizations, listened to the views of seven child delegates, winners of a nationwide art contest on the theme of “My Family”. Speaking with authority and maturity, the young delegates put forward a proposal to include the establishment of a Ombudsman specifically for Children in Kazakhstan in the Conference recommendations.

“UNICEF activities in Kazakhstan will continue to focus on changing attitudes towards children and their problems across every part of society level,” said Mr. Alexandre Zouev, UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, at the end of the Conference. “We are working to help government and civil society representatives take the lead on the monitoring of child rights. The goal is to ensure that they can work together to protect the rights of all children whose rights are being violated, while pushing through the legislative decisions needed to change children’s lives for the better.”

The Conference provided a foundation for the improvement of the social policy programmes, with the development of concrete UNICEF-Government programmes in 2006, and the creation of a new National Coalition of NGOs for Children.

Leave No Child Out Campaign

The two-day event co-organized by the Ministry of Science and Education of Kazakhstan, the Office of the Ombudsman Office, UNICEF and the Crisis Centers Union was the grand finale of Leave No Child Out campaign activities for 2005.

Participants heard more about the campaign, which aims to promote awareness of child rights while changing attitudes towards children who are excluded from mainstream society, such as children without parental care, children with disabilities, victims of violence, and those affected by HIV/AIDS.

NGOs agreed to the establishment of a National Coalition of NGOs for Children. Examples of NGO coalition best practices across the CEE/CIS region were shared by Dr. Nabil Seyidov, General Secretary of the Regional Network for Children – a network of NGOs working on child rights issues – and Ms.Lyudmila Bliznyuk, National Coordinator of the Belarus Network for and with Children. The main objective of the new National Coalition will be to mobilize every part of society, from government agencies to the mass media to businesses in a nationwide movement for Kazahstan’s five million children.

For more information:

Gauhar Abdygaliyeva, Communication Officer, UNICEF Kazakhstan: (+73 172) 32 83 07, e-mail: gabdygaliyeva@unicef.org

 

 

 

 

RELATED LINKS

Press Release (Russian)

Regional Network for Children (RNC)

Presentation by Dr. Nabil Seyidov, General Secretary, RNC (Russian PPT)


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