On Indonesia’s National Children’s Day, three young people are honoured as “Young Leaders"
JAKARTA, 23 July 2010 — Young Indonesians active in promoting children’s rights were honoured today by the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection at the prestigious annual Young Leaders Awards supported by UNICEF.
Three young people received the 2010 awards, which are bestowed in recognition of leadership and commitment in the pursuit of equitable child rights in Indonesia. Charles Octariano Seran from Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, Muladi from Payakumbuh in West Sumatra and Ni Putu Maitri Nara Suari from Denpasar in Bali were the award recipients this year, having demonstrated dedication, influence and innovation in raising awareness and pushing for social change in their schools and local communities through their participation in children’s forums.
Earlier in the day, as part of National Children’s Day celebrations in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, the winners also received trophies from His Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“Child participation is integral to child rights. These children are to be commended in setting up and making children’s forums relevant and linked to government development efforts. It is also an important part of Indonesia’s efforts in fulfilling child rights,” said Her Excellency Linda Amalia Sari, Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection.
“These Awards are an acknowledgement of the efforts that children make every day for their country and their fellow children,” said UNICEF Indonesia Representative Angela Kearney. “The active engagement between children, young people and those who are responsible for decision-making on their behalf is critical if we are to ensure the rights of every child are upheld.”
A total of 198 children - the largest number of participants since the inception of the awards in 2004 - were nominated by civil society groups, local government authorities or by the children themselves. The judging panel included representatives of non-governmental organizations concerned with child rights, government agencies and UNICEF, as well as renowned journalist Maria Hartiningsih from Kompas newspaper and Iman Usman, a former award winner.
The annual awards are supported by Bank CIMB Niaga, as part of its commitment to helping UNICEF’s work with children and young people in Indonesia.
Local government leadership to improve the protection of children was also reflected at the event, with the Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection recognizing efforts by 41 mayors and district heads in issuing local decrees establishing free birth registration and the initiation of child-friendly policies in their areas.
The recognition comes as part of central government efforts to encourage local authorities to include child protection issues, including free birth registration, in their development plans.
Muladi from Payakumbuh meets often with government officials to let them know the opinions of young people.
Background on winners of the 2010 Indonesia Young Leaders Awards:
Charles Octariano Seran, age 17, is from Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara province. He has been a key leader in the establishment of the Kupang children’s forum since the initiative was first discussed several years ago. His dedication paid off and he became the group’s head when it was formally established in 2009. He is active in promoting child rights among the church network, in school and in his neighborhood. He was central to coordinating the 2009 Provincial Children’s Conference and recruited many new members for the forum, as well as facilitating other child rights awareness activities.
Mulyadi, age 17, is a student at Islamic High School 2 in Payakumbuh, West Sumatra province, and the chair of the Payakumbuh Children’s Forum. He has consistently campaigned against tobacco in school and his neighbourhood. He initiated a dialogue to urge his local government to issue a stronger regulation that bans children’s access to tobacco. He has been active in encouraging teachers and adults to avoid smoking in front of children, as well as urging his peers to boycott events which are sponsored by tobacco companies.
Ni Putu Maitri Nara Suari, age 17, is from Denpasar in Bali province. She has written a thought provoking essay on Children and the Internet and describes how she is never far from her laptop on which she writes essays, researches, blogs, sends tweets and updates her social networking account to promote child rights. She was a child ambassador to the 2009 Children’s Congress and also at the Youth Forum of the International Congress on HIV and AIDS in Bali. She is now the commission head for network building in the Bali Children’s Forum.
For more information, please contact: Regi Wirawan, UNICEF Communication Officer, HP 0811 802 338, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Pardina Pudiastuti, Assistant to Deputy for Civil Rights and Child Participation, Ministry of Women Empowerment, HP 085214276385