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More than 200 children celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Solomon Islands

© UNICEF Pacific/2014/Tahu
Children excited and ready for the games

HONIARA, 11 December 2014- More than 200 children from the Solomon Islands Football Federation’s Just Play programme and primary schools around Honiara and Guadalcanal province celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by engaging in the country’s popular game – football or soccer.

With the theme, “Every Child has the Right to Just Play” the celebration was organized so all children learnt about their rights by moving through eight different areas at the stadium. Activities were soccer related from dribbling to passing, scoring and tricks. Awareness clinics were also set up and youth from the UNICEF supported radio talkback programme conducted interviews for Sunday’s broadcast.

At the official opening of the programme, Chief of UNICEF Solomon Islands Mr. Yun Jong Kang highlighted that “While tremendous efforts and progress have been made on child development, protection and survival, more work is also needed with child participation.”

“As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we must also be reminded that focusing on survival, protection and development is not good enough. We also have to work for participation of children and sporting activities are an excellent way to do this,” he said.

Mr. Kang highlighted that through sports, children can develop their learning skills and live healthy lives. He called on all parents and guardians to help in upholding their children’s right to play and recreation. “Every child has the right to play and recreation as stated in Article 31 of the CRC and therefore we must not deny our children their right to play.”

 The UNICEF Solomon Islands Chief assured the hundreds of children and guests that UNICEF is here to support the government in achieving these rights and ensure that all children have equal opportunities to reach their full potential. “We have supported the Government with the development of the Family Protection Bill, which the parliament passed in August this year and we will continue to provide support as well towards the Child Welfare Bill expected to come before the Parliament next year.” 

Meanwhile Acting Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children, Mr. Hugo Hebala, stated that the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family affairs is indeed happy to be part of the celebration especially in seeing hundreds of children participate in the celebrations. 

“I would also like to thank UNICEF and other international agencies and NGOs that have supported the Ministry in advocating for the rights of our children both in terms of polices and legislation,” he said.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was ratified by Solomon Islands in 1995. The treaty sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and our work in the Pacific visit: http://www.unicefpacific.org

For more information, please contact Atenia Tahu: Ph: (677) 21243/7575680 Email: atahu@unicef.org


 

 
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