Central Asia takes joint action in addressing child protection issues
Astana, 5 December, 2006 - The Kazakh capital, Astana, will host an historic Child Protection Forum of Central Asian countries on 6-7 December. The first of its kind, “The social and legal support systems for families and children in Central Asia” will welcome delegates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as representatives of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Initiated by the Committee on Childs Rights Protection of the Kazakh Ministry of Education and Science and UNICEF, the forum is expected to facilitate dialogue between countries on the protection of children’s rights and reform of national systems of social protection of families and children in Central Asia. It aims to take action towards the fulfilment of children’s rights within the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Millennium Development Goals and the World Fit for Children agendas.
Despite good economic performance in some Central Asian countries, UNICEF believes children are not always given priority in terms of the distribution of state revenue. Such omissions considerably reduce the effectiveness of other actions undertaken to address child protection issues and, consequently, negatively affects children’s economic, social and cultural rights.
Key areas of the forum’s work will include looking at social policy, protection and the inclusion of children, and discussing the building of an integrated child protection system. During the sessions, participants will present country situation analyses, share their experiences of successfully-implemented national programmes and identify priority areas for future action.
To ensure the involvement of every agency working in the child protection area, representatives of key ministries and other relevant commissions have been invited to participate in the forum. International and non-governmental organizations will also attend.
The forum will provide participants with a unique opportunity to discuss the progress made in promoting the welfare of children and reforming protection systems in the Central Asian countries. It will also identify gaps and priorities for further action. It is expected to contribute to strengthening the exchange of information and experience between Central Asian countries. On the closing day, participants will adopt a resolution establishing a working mechanism for the Child Protection Forum to further co-operate and formalize obligations of the member-states in fulfilling child protection tasks.
The preparatory meeting for this Child Protection Forum was held on 17 May 2006 in Astana. Participants then adopted a Concept Note for the Child Protection Forum and defined themes for future forums, including de-institutionalization, juvenile justice and the prevention of violence against children. The note also included such issues as coordination between national agencies and individual countries; legislation reviews and their implementation; social work and development of social services; data collection, monitoring and analysis. These themes were identified as the main priority areas for the countries of Central Asia.
About UNICEF For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For additional information, please contact:
Sultan Khudaibergenov, Communication Officer and Sabina Mendybayeva, Communication Consultant, UNICEF Kazakhstan
UNICEF Statement at the First Child Protection Forum Central Asia Republics