|© UNICEF Syria/2009/Qassas|
|Young people are educated in news gathering as part of a two-day workshop designed to draw attention to the findings of Situation Analysis of Children in Syria report.|
By Razan Rashidi
DAMASCUS, Syria, 20 October 2009 – After two year’s work, the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs (SCFA) in collaboration with UNICEF has concluded a report on the Situation Analysis of Children (SITAN) in Syria.
The report notes that despite corporal punishment being prohibited, children are subject to violence at home and in school. It states that males both experience and practice violence more than women and that violence is worse in rural areas. The degree of violence is inversely correlated to the level of education of the parents, especially mothers.
The report says that although Syria has ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on child labour, the practice is still prevalent in poorer regions.
It’s estimated that 150 million children between the ages of 5-14 worldwide are engaged in child labour.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child
SITAN analyses the situation of children in health, education, protection and participation. It considers issues related to children’s cultural and social environments and presents an analysis of the current situation from the perspective of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"This work is a reflection and analysis of what is going on in Syria with regard to children and youth. It also contains a vision for the future," said UNICEF Representative in Syria Sherazade Boualia.
"The future of youth and adolescents is not only the responsibility of UNICEF or SCFA or Ministry of Education, it is the responsibility of all actors in the country."
To draw attention to the findings, UNICEF organized a two-day workshop on child and youth development.
Young people were given a chance to express their opinions through theatre, photograph and training in news gathering.
“We were able to express our opinion about things that we were unaware of or didn’t pay enough attention to concerning our rights and other things,” said one of the workshop participants – Bashar, 15, from Iraq.
Other activities in the workshop included a ‘project and initiative marketplace’ which aimed at providing a space for different organizations and institutes to exchange knowledge and information. UN agencies, many Syrian Governmental institutions, as well as many local and international NGOs participated.