ALMATY, 20 November 2009 - UNICEF has nominated well-known Kazakh artist Batyrkhan Shukenov first ever National Goodwill Ambassador in the country on the day of celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Hanaa Singer and Batyrkhan Shukenov signed a special agreement during a news conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s former capital, on 20 November 2009.
“Marking the CRC@20 today, we are taking this opportunity to nominate well-known and much respected Kazakh singer Batyrkhan Shukenov as the first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in Kazakhstan, in the whole of Central Asian region. We know that Batyr does a lot for children in Kazakhstan, though he prefers not to disclose his noble actions,” Hanaa Singer told the news conference. “We do believe that Batyrkhan Shukenov will make an invaluable contribution to UNICEF programmes in Kazakhstan,” said Hanaa Singer.
“It is a thrilling moment for me. I am very honoured and I recognize the burden of the new responsibilities that I will have as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. I believe that through our united efforts we can change the situation of children in Kazakhstan to the better, and it is the responsibility of every citizen to take care of children,” said Batyrkhan Shukenov after signing the agreement with UNICEF.
As part of UNICEF’s global move to mark the CRC@20 through presenting a special edition of its flagship report, The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF Representative Hanaa Singer also launched the report at the news conference. Among the challenges to the CRC in Kazakhstan, Singer named the high number of children in institutions, the high child and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, the issue of stigmatization of HIV-positive children and the issue of inclusion of children with special needs in educational and development programmes.
Kazakhstan ratified the CRC in 1994. In August 2004, Kazakhstan adopted “The Law on the Child Rights”, which became a kind of a national declaration on the rights of the child. UNICEF made a great contribution to the elaboration of this law.
The support of UNICEF and of other partners furthered the setting up of a national group for implementing the CRC and laid the basis for reforming the child protection system in Kazakhstan. In 2006 the Committee for Child Rights Protection was set up under the Education and Science Ministry, which is now operating in all the regions through its departments. UNICEF also helped elaborate the Children of Kazakhstan national programme, which mainly focuses on children without parental care.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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, UNICEF Kazakhstan,
Telephone: (+7 7172) 326 206, 32 28 64 (ext. 112, 123),
Gulzhazira Zhumash, UNICEF Kazakhstan,
Telephone: (+7 7172) 326 206, 32 28 64 (ext. 112, 123)
CRC @ 20