President of the State Reflects on Child Rights during CRC Panel Discussion
Skopje, 16 November 2009: During a panel discussion celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the President Gjorgi Ivanov, emphasized the responsibility of the State to provide basic services for all children and highlighted the role of the family in providing a protective environment.
Reflecting on the challenges ahead, UNICEF Representative, Mr Sheldon Yett said, “the recent global economic downturn exposes many to increased poverty, and this country has not been immune to the affects of the crisis. Public budgets may need to be reallocated, but it is essential to maintain current investments in preventive health care, basic education and social services. Future gains from these investments in human capital are likely to be much larger than the financial savings that would be realised by making cuts now.”
“Through the accession process, the Commission is both promoting child protection reform and is also monitoring the progress on children’s rights in all acceding and candidate countries,” continued Ambassador Fouéré.
The panel discussion concluded with the panel members signing of the Council of Europe on-line petition for banning corporal punishment of children.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding and the most widely ratified international convention to affirm human rights for all children. With its fifty four articles, the Convention spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the CRC, the country offices of the European Union Mission, UNICEF and the Council of Europe, have planned a week of activities to celebrate the tremendous progress achieved in child rights in the past two decades, as well as confront the continuing challenges.
A children's documentary film festival and photo exhibition illustrating the articles of the CRC will be organised at the EU InfoCentre, between 16 and 20 November. During the week, local and international films will be screened covering issues that remain challenges to the realization of child rights in the country. OneMinutesJr videos made by children in Skopje on violence in schools and documentaries on Roma girls education will be screened. As will films from Israel on inter-ethnic cohesion, the United States and Kenya on justice for children, and Japan on inclusive education. All screenings are free and will be followed by an expert led discussion where children will share their views on the different issues.
For more information please contact: