This celebration is part of the activities planned by the National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children (NCAWMC) with the support of UNICEF to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of the world’s most-ratified human rights treaty.
Vientiane, 31 May 2019 – Young representatives from the Central provinces who have gathered in Vientiane over the last three days presented today the outcomes of the children and youth consultations held across the country to the Deputy Prime Minister and President of the NCAWMC, Sonexay Siphandone, the President of the Lao Women’s Union and Vice President of the NCAWMC, Inlavanh Keobounphanh, and development partners. Children took over the stage to highlight the progress done in the area of child wellbeing over the last few years, key challenges they are facing and propose solutions that will improve their lives.
“I want every child to have access to quality education and be encouraged to learn. In 2030, I would like Lao PDR to learn from other countries where children get free uniforms, school materials and access to technology in everyday learning,” said Vanatda Panyavatthanasinh, 15 years old.
Environment-related issues were also discussed during the consultations. By 2030, children want to see a greener country with more trees, public parks and an important reduction in plastic use. In their 2030 vision, children and youth in different consultations also referred to the importance of health and nutrition. “I would like to see more and better qualified health workers and better equipment and technology in health centres,” explained Salernmxay Sivongsa, 15 years old, while adding that ensuring access to quality health services for rural children is also very important as they need equal opportunities to grow healthy.
Talking about solutions to existing challenges, children put emphasis on the need to promote parenting education and proposed policy makers to increase efforts to address violence against children, including the implementation of campaigns to put an end to bullying in schools.
“The results of these consultations are extremely important as they will lay the foundations for the development of the next National Plan of Action for Mothers and Children 2021-2025 and the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025. Listening to children’s voices we can also understand the level of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Lao PDR,” stated Mrs. Keobounphanh.
Around the world today, young people are speaking out for their right to an education, demanding an end to discrimination, marching against violence in schools, striking for action on climate change, campaigning for digital reform and calling on leaders to protect their future. Children are telling us, loud and clear, it is time for every child, to have every right.
“2019 marks the inception of the 9th NSEDP which is an opportunity to set a new agenda for the country building on Human Capital to achieve Sustainable Development Goals targets by 2030 and the implementation for the concluding observations on CRC. These consultations are crucial as we have had a chance to listen directly from children what are the main challenges they face but also solutions to address those challenges. Let’s not forget that they are beneficiaries and targets of current policies, but they are also change makers. Shaped by decisions made today, these children and young people will go on and shape the country’s future in the years to come,” stated Pia Britto, UNICEF Representative a.i.
The NCAWMC, with the support of UNICEF has organised three consultations to mark the 30th Anniversary of the CRC. One for Northern provinces in Bokeo, one for Southern provinces in Savannakhet, and the last one this week in Vientiane for Central provinces. Almost 150 children of ages between 11 and 18 years of age from the 18 provinces have participated in these consultations which aimed at providing a platform for children and youth to learn about the CRC and SDGs and express themselves.
Children are experts in their own lives and experiences. As stated in Article 12 of UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child and young person under 18 years of age has the right to participate and have their opinions included in decision-making processes that relate to their lives. Through these consultations, the Lao PDR Government and UNICEF have worked collaboratively with children and young people to listen to their views and valuable insight into how their rights can best be promoted, protected and fulfilled.
During the celebration, a message from the Prime Minister, Thongloun Sisoulit, was shown to mark the International Children’s Day. The Prime Minister called upon the Party, the Government, mass organizations, corporates, partners and the wide public to focus even more on mothers and children and to consider children’s views and opinions in building the 2030 vision. “We have to ensure that children are protected and receive care and support to develop to their full potential, and it is also important to ensure children’s participation on issues that matters to them. Children will be leading the development of the nation, thus, ensuring a happy childhood will contribute to create responsible citizens”.
20 November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30). Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 8 May 1991. Throughout the year, the NCAWMC, MOFA, MPI and other line ministries along with private sector and civil society organisations and children themselves will organise, with support from UNICEF, a series of public engagement activities to build awareness, support and commitment to action on the implementation of CRC and SDGs.
FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Mr. Chanthanakhone Sayavong, Director of the Children Development Division, NCAWMCS,
Maria Fernandez Ruiz de Larrinaga, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Lao PDR
Telephone : +856-21 315 200-4 (ext. 119)
Mobile : +856 20 555 19681
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +856 21 487500 ext. 7508
Tel: +856 20 55519681
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.