|© UNICEF Botswana/2010|
|Children in Botswana, where a new publication aims to bridge the gap between conducting child-focused research and translating research findings into policy and practice.|
By Lillian Tjezuva
GABORONE, Botswana, 20 January 2011 – Marking more than 21 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the United Nations General Assembly and over 15 years since Botswana ratified the Convention, UNICEF and the University of Botswana have launched a joint publication, ‘Thari ya Bana: Reflections on Children in Botswana.’
Participants in the launch, held at the university campus on 30 November 2010, included high-level government officials, non-governmental representatives, development partners, the media and a group of children from the National Children’s Consultative Forum.
The Deputy Chair of the National Children’s Council, Gloria Jacques, formally launched the publication.
Policy into practice
Speaking at the launch, UNICEF Representative in Botswana Dr. Doreen Mulenga said the publication was inspired by the need to bridge the gap between conducting child-focused research and translating the research findings into policy and then, ultimately, putting them into practice.
“We have specifically decided to include contributors from the University of Botswana, UNICEF and a number of other stakeholders as a reflection of the diversity of interests, skills and issues – as well as attempt to cultivate a passion amongst individuals and academia to focus on a research agenda for children,” said Dr. Mulenga.
|© UNICEF Botswana/2010|
|UNICEF Representative in Botswana Dr. Doreen Mulenga speaks at the launch of the publication 'Thari ya Bana: Reflections on Children in Botswana.'|
‘Thari Ya Bana’ will therefore introduce its readers to many different issues and perspectives relating to children in Botswana,” she added.
The UNICEF Representative indicated, however, that the publication does not mention the important steps that government, civil society and other partners have taken to address significant disparities at the district and local community levels – disparities that the national statistics mask.
“We hope that future versions of the publication will include disaggregated data so that it will be possible to indicate districts and localities where children may be faltering compared to their peers,” said Dr. Mulenga.
Focus on children
‘Thari ya Bana’ is a Setswana term describing the blanket that holds the baby securely against the mother; thus, it reflects the need to focus on children’s issues and the support they need on a daily basis. The publication is the first of what will be an annual series of joint publications as part of a Memorandum of Understanding between UNICEF and the University of Botswana.
The editor of ‘Thari ya Bana,’ Dr. Tapologo Maundeni, explained that the book includes topics covering policy for children affected by HIV and AIDS, young child survival, child development and protection. Also included in the publication is a collection of the latest statistics on Botswana’s children produced by the country’s Central Statistics Office.
CRC @ 20