Prime Minister and UNICEF Representative host a reception for CRC@20
PODGORICA, MONTENEGRO, NOVEMBER 20, 2009 – Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and UNICEF Montenegro Representative Noala Skinner hosted a reception in Villa Gorica at the end of a week of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The “Voices of Montenegro’s Children” were presented through an exhibition of main results of a major youth opinion poll, and the airing of five one minute films made by children themselves.
“We are used to listening to adults from the government, international organizations or civil society about the situation on child rights. However, this evening we get an insight into what children themselves are thinking and saying about their lives and their rights,” said UNICEF Representative in Montenegro, Noala Skinner.
Skinner introduced youth opinion poll results conducted by Centre for Examinations and with UNICEF’s support among 4 670 Montenegro’s children 13-18 years old in April 2009. The preliminary results were presented to key decision-makers in order to remind them of the importance of listening to the voices of children and young people providing them with an opportunity to do so on the 20th anniversary of UN CRC.
Selected preliminary results of the youth opinion poll show that:
• 76% of Montenegro’s children are almost always happy and most often when they are with their families, friends and when they get good grades
Montenegro’s children want the government to make more parks and playgrounds; they would like a zoo; provide more sport and extracurricular activities for them; make more available information on their rights; provide access to quality education and social protection for children with disabilities, children without parents, RAE and poor children as well as for those in institutions.
Skinner also presented the global Agenda for Action for the CRC@20. “The Convention on the Rights of the Child demands global solidarity for the rights of children. Today, realizing the rights of children requires us to leverage the contribution of everyone. The next twenty years of the Convention’s implementation require us to marry governmental accountability with societal responsibility. What this opinion poll suggests is that Montenegro’s children and young people are ready to take up that challenge as the present and future of this country”.
Marijana reminded everyone that Louis Braille was 15 years old when he designed the Braille alphabet, but that it wasn’t taken up until after his death, 30 years later. “Always carefully listen to children, they are also sometimes right, and sometimes you can learn something from them,” said Marijana Blazevic, student at Institution for Professional rehabilitation of disabled children
“My home is poor, but freedom lives in it … because I am Roma,’’ said Muhamed Berisa, one of the students from one minute junior workshop held in Budva as he was introducing his video on child rights and raising a plea to stamp out discrimination.
Suad Numanovic, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare said that government will continue to work on improving the life of children in Montenegro.
‘’Children in Montenegro are future citizens of Europe. I believe we will have full support from all international partners in order to improve all the issues and rights concerning children,’’ Numanovic said.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most widely ratified human-rights treaty in history. 193 state parties, including Montenegro, have ratified it.
One Minutes Junior
Watch the video from Villa Gorica
CRC@20 Agenda for Action
To realize the promise as enshrined in the Convention for all children, we need to transform societies in three respects, and for this the State of the World’s Children, UNICEF’s flagship report, outlines a global Agenda for Action. It is an agenda for every country that has ratified the CRC.
Make children’s best interests the primary test of governance: Through our laws, our policies, our budgets, our systems of democracy, we need to reflect the Convention. Laws must protect …. budgets provide …. and political processes include.
Develop capacities to realize the rights of children: from empowering parents with the knowledge and skills to best care for and realise the right of their children, to supporting those in the highest positions to know how to respond to their obligations to children. Developing capacity is key to turning duties into daily acts.
Support social and cultural values that respect the rights of children: By recognizing children as the holders of rights, and by accepting at every level, from individual to government, to the UN Security Council, we all respond to the imperatives of the Convention.