For children with children. The Human Rights Defender’s Office and UNICEF hold a community event in Sotk to mark the Day of Child Protection in Armenia

02 June 2023
Չորս փոքրիկ աղջիկ՝ գրքերը ձեռքին, ժպտում են
UNICEF Armenia/2023/Sergoyan

VARDENIS - On 1 June, The Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia and UNICEF office in Armenia held a community event-forum in Sotk village of Vardenis consolidated community, Gegharkunik region, to mark the Day of Child Protection in Armenia. The event was attended by over 170 children and adolescents from bordering communities and, altogether, 230 persons, including representatives of national and local government and other partners.

Participants were greeted by Mrs Anahit Manasyan, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia and Mrs Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia who congratulated children on their day.

The Defender noted that her team came up with the idea to design and hold this type of an event in Sotk when she first visited the bordering communities of Gegharkunik region in May.

“I appreciate the support of UNICEF office in Armenia for this endeavor. It was a top priority for the Human Rights Defender’s Office to engage with all children from bordering communities. I would like to reinstate that it is crucial for me to empower children in these communities with opportunities to celebrate, as well as be part of it ourselves. I wish that your childhood is filled with happiness and joy, and that you are surrounded with love and care,” noted the Defender.

Anahit Manasyan emphasized that regardless of place or conditions of living, every child has the right to lead a dignified life, and it should be a priority for the state to enable necessary conditions for that.

“Children may grow up in different life circumstances, what is important is how you approach the challenges in life and whether you are supported to turn them into opportunities that hold a promise for our collective future. Which is why it was important for me to present this opportunity today for children living in bordering communities and spend the day with them to listen and learn,” added Mrs Manasyan.

“Today was a double occasion for UNICEF to mark the International Day of Child Protection and the UN Global Day of Parents.  I am very happy that we could share this day with children and adolescents in Sotk and listen to the issues they voiced and discuss potential solutions,” noted Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “In every community, children have the right to grow up safe, healthy and to get quality education and all the social services required to thrive. UNICEF will continue working with the HRDO and partners to support children and their families in Vardenis community and across Armenia.”

The overarching objective of the event was to promote and advocate for children’s rights to participate in decisions that concern them, to voice their opinions freely and be heard. By its design, the event served as a children-centered platform where children, adolescents and young people presented the issues that concerned them the most and discuss those with representatives of government structures and experts.

A number of parallel group discussions were held on child rights with the participation of the Human Rights Defender, HRDO experts, representatives from UNICEF and government counterparts. The topics spanned from children’s protection in the family and in the community, education and social inclusion, bullying and discrimination, health and wellbeing.

Children from elementary school and early learning center took part in art activities, themed ‘my rights’ and watched a theatre performance, entitled ‘A true friend’, delivered by Family and Community non-governmental organization.

The day ended with a debrief session with children to share their impressions and present the group work done through the thematic discussions.

Media contacts

Zara Sargsyan
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Armenia
Tel: 37455232169
Tel: 37410580174

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