Young representatives from Central Provinces are gathering in the capital to propose solutions to overcome challenges in the realization of their rights as part of the activities planned to mark the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Their views will be summarised in the ‘Children and Youth Ideas and Actions for a Better Future’ report to be presented on 11 November at the Lao Generation 2030 Forum.
Vientiane, 28 May 2019 – The National Commission for the Advancement of Women, Mothers and Children (NCAWMC) with the support of UNICEF launched today in Vientiane the third consultation at subnational level to listen to children’s voices, give them the space they need to articulate their concerns and propose solutions to existing challenges in the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About 50 children from different ages between 13 and 18 years old from Huaphanh, Luang Prabang, Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, Xayabury, Xaysomboune and Xiengkhuang are participating in this 3-day consultation that will conclude on 31 May with an exchange with the Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Sonexay Siphandone, where children will present progress done in the area of child wellbeing over the last years, key challenges they are facing and will propose solutions to improve their lives.
The outcomes of these consultations that were previously held in Bokeo (for the Northern provinces) and Savannakhet (Southern provinces) in April and early May respectively will be summarized in a report which will be presented at a high-level summit to be organised on 11 November to mark the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Lao Generation 2030 Forum.
“These consultations are crucial as children are learning a lot about CRC and SDGs and this knowledge will help them to develop to their full potential. We are here to listen to children’s voices and understand the challenges they face but also solutions to address those challenges. The results of this consultation and the previous ones in Bokeo and Savannakhet will guide the strategy and policy development of the NCAWMC and the country. Children’s views are very important to understand the level of implementation of CRC at provincial level,” said Mrs. Khamphay Latsamy, President of Vientiane Capital Lao Women’s Union and Deputy of Vientiane Capital NCAWMC.
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 are working 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.
“I am happy to be here and have the chance to make new friends from other provinces. I would like to learn about the Convention on the Rights of the Child and use this knowledge to further develop in the future,” stated Ms Koryeewang Yearthao, 18 years old.
“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. CRC30 provides an opportunity to reposition children and young people at the centre of the conversation, as drivers and partners, empowering you to become central players in your own lives and communities for you to lead the development of the country in the years to come.” explained Maria Fernandez, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Lao PDR.
20 November 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30), one of the world’s most-ratified human rights treaty. 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.
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