UNICEF Timor-Leste launched The State of the World’s Children 2011
Dili, Timor-Leste 26 April 2011 – UNICEF Timor-Leste launched The State of the World’s Children Report 2011 entitled: “Adolescence: An Age of Opportunity” on 26 April 2011 at the President’s Palace, Dili.
During the ceremony, UNICEF Representative, Jun Kukita officially handed over the Report 2011 to President Ramos Horta, Special Representative of Secretary General Ameera Haq and Education Minister Freitas.
“While much has been done in Timor-Leste, there are still thousands of young people waiting for greater action from all of us. Giving all young people the tools they need to participate and improve their own lives will foster their full engagement in civic life and enable them to actively contribute to their communities,” said Jun Kukita, UNICEF Representative.
The representatives from the Youth Parliament met prior to the Report launch to discuss the issues raised by the UNICEF Report. During the launch, representatives from the Youth Parliament stated that they should be provided more opportunities to participate in civic activities and that more investments on Timorese adolescents and youth’s education and health should be made.
The launch was also witnessed by members of the Parliament, diplomatic corps, international NGOs, UN agencies and Youth Parliament representatives.
Based on the Report, there have been strong worldwide investments during the last twenty years on children. This has resulted in gains for children below 10 years of age. Examples of these include the 33 per cent drop in the global under-five mortality rate; girls and boys almost enjoying equal enrolment to primary school, and millions of children having improved access to safe water and critical medicines such as routine vaccinations.
The Report says that unfortunately, investments for adolescents, those from 10 years to 19 years of age, did not have the same required support. It is during this second ten years of children’s lives that inequities and poverty manifest starkly. Young people who are poor or marginalized are less likely to make it to secondary education. They are more likely to experience exploitation, abuse and violence such as domestic labour and child marriage – especially if they are girls.
Girls who marry early are most at risk in being caught up in a negative cycle of premature child-bearing, high rates of maternal mortality and child under-nutrition. Girls also experience higher rates of domestic and/or sexual violence than boys, and are more susceptible to the risk of HIV infections.
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