Botswana children takeover the United Nations

World Children's Day

UNICEF Communications
World Children's Day
UNICEF Botswana
20 November 2020

As part of the World Children’s Day activities, the Botswana country office organized a United Nations Country Management Team Takeover.

The United Nations Takeover had ten students representing some of the resident agencies in Botswana. When giving updates for their respective agencies, the students called for the establishment of child friendly health facilities. They further challenged the UN to ensure that children are protected from violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.

The children took over the role of UN Resident Coordinator and Representatives for UNICEF, UNDP, UN Women, UNFPA, IOM, WHO and UNAIDS. The Resident Coordinator, His Excellency Zia Choudoury Called on children to actively participate on decision making processes when given an opportunity. He committed to ensuring that UN agencies mainstream issues affecting children and young people.

For her part, UNICEF Representative Dr. Joan Matji said UNICEF is working closely with government to create a protective and nurturing environment that will help children to realize their full potential. “right now we are supporting government to create child friendly police stations, to ensure that you report  cases of abuse without any fear,” she said.

The UN Takeover was preceded by the Children’s Kgotla which took place on Thursday. In Botswana, kgotla’s are cultural institutions that provide citizens a platform to discuss issues with other community members. The Children’s Kgotla facilitated an exchange of ideas between members of Children’s Parliament and Assistant Ministers of Basic Education and Local Government and Rural Development. Held under the theme, Reimaging the Future For Every Child, the dialogue unpacked effects of COVID-19 on education and child protection.

“We need to digitize education, so that children from poor households don’t miss out if we go through lockdown again, “said a member of Children's Consultative Forum. They further called stakeholders to strengthen parenting skills as most caregivers do not openly discuss issues of sexuality, adding that the secrecy around the topic exacerbates sexual exploitation and abuse.