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Turkmenistan starts off massive celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 30 October 2009 – Turkmenistan’s Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have officially started celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

While UNICEF and its partners have been working together to promote child rights, the next twenty days will be devoted to marking the twentieth anniversary of the CRC’s foundation and culminating 20 November.

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: the right 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. The four core principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child.

By celebrating the 20th anniversary of the CRC, Turkmenistan and other countries of the world commemorate key landmarks in child rights for the first time in the 21st century and celebrate the progress achieved in child rights in the past two decades. In Turkmenistan UNICEF and the Government have planned the events that will reflect the Convention’s articles and promote children’s participation and self-expression. UNICEF partners representing all sectors will take an active part in CRC celebrations. This multisectoral approach proves that united, we can ensure rights for all children and contribute to the human progress.

The CRC anniversary events have began today with an orientation meeting for national and international journalists working in Turkmenistan. Media play a pivotal role in promoting and safeguarding children’s rights and serve as channels for children’s voices. The orientation meeting will enable journalists to better understand the principles of the CRC and its linkage to children’s everyday life. 

Through the “Gunesh” children’s magazine and the Yashlyk TV channel show “Chaga Kalby” (Children’s Soul), young readers and viewers will learn about the Convention on the Rights of the Child in an interactive and easy to understand formats.   

To promote the value of early learning and responsive care giving from birth, every child who will be born in Turkmenistan on 20 November will receive a gift package of illustrated children’s books jointly produced by UNICEF and its partner ministries. These books are part of the pioneering series of materials for Turkmenistan children and are all about the magic of the first years of a child’s life and the simple yet powerful things that all caregivers can do to help children be healthy, bright, confident, safe and secure.   

Children in every velayat centre and the capital will participate in CRC festivities by watching children’s puppet plays and attending creative puppetry workshops that will be performed by the Turkmen State Puppet Theatre actors in different locations. Children and teachers will also organize events in schools marking this day at their local communities.

At a policy level, the Government and UNICEF will organize a conference on 17 November for representatives of various partner ministries and agencies to review achievements and challenges with the implementation of the CRC in Turkmenistan. This year is particularly important for Turkmenistan, as the country also celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of Turkmenistan’s adoption of this Convention.

The twenty day celebrations will culminate on 20 November with a gala-concert where children will perform with Turkmenistan’s popular singers and actors. All the events are being marked with participation of children, decision makers, teachers and health workers, media, creative people and celebrities to create an opportunity to highlight the most important thing for children: enjoyment of their rights!  

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Gulyalek Soltanova
UNICEF Communication Officer
Tel: (99312) 425682/85
Fax: (99312) 420830

Ms. Ayna Seyitlieva
UNICEF Programme Communication Officer



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