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New Malaysian stamps pay tribute to children and their rights

© UNICEF Malaysia/2009/Zahri
Nur Iffah Izzati, 8, Aidan Luke Anthony, 4, and Nur Ain Adilla, 8, hold up the Caring Society children’s rights stamps during a launch event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

By Indra Kumari Nadchatram

In the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – a landmark international agreement on the basic human rights of all children – UNICEF is featuring a series of stories about progress made and challenges that remain. Here is one of those stories.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, 12 October 2009 – To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Malaysia’s postal service, Pos Malaysia, has introduced a new set of stamps that aims to spread the word about children’s rights.

The Caring Society stamps – named for Malaysia’s ‘Vision 2020’ plan to establish a ‘fully caring society and a caring culture’ with the child and the family at its core – come in a set of four. Each stamp features a different right: to food, to education, to play and to protection. An additional stamp highlights the CRC itself and is embossed in Braille to emphasize that human rights belong equally to all children, including children living with disabilities.

Designed by the advertising agency TBWA\Tequila Malaysia, the stamps also honour UNICEF for its role in protecting children and their right to survival, development and protection.
“Because children are our legacy, we must do all we can to safeguard their future,”  said the Group Managing Director and CEO of Pos Malaysia, Dato’ Syed Faisal Albar. “We are honoured by the partnership with UNICEF and TBWA towards conveying this positive message.”

‘Promise to children’
Adopted in 1989, the CRC calls on all sectors of society to work together to protect childhood so that young people may grow up to become productive adults.

© Pos Malaysia
Each one of the new series of Malaysian stamps features a right protected by the Convention on the Rights of the Child: the right to food, to education, to play and to protection.

“The Convention was created to uphold the most basic rights of children, such as their right to an identity, health care, education and safety,” said UNICEF Representative in Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei Youssouf Oomar. “These child-rights stamps are a lasting reminder to all of us to never forget this promise to children.”

The situation for children in Malaysia has improved since the country’s ratification of the CRC in 1995. In 2001, the government introduced the Child Act to foster a protective environment for children. Primary education was made compulsory in 2002, resulting in a national primary school enrolment rate of more than 90 per cent by 2006.

Recording history
TBWA\Tequila Malaysia Art Director Jann Lim, who designed the postage set, described stamps as more than just small pieces of paper.

“Stamps are works of art that tell stories and record history, while connecting people from all communities” Ms. Lim, said, adding that the stamps “not only commemorate 20 years of children’s rights, they also aim to inspire people across lands to embrace all children and to respect their rights.”

Issued on 9 October, the Caring Society child-rights stamps will be available for a limited time at all Pos Malaysia outlets nationwide. Special first-day covers bear the cancellation mark, ‘Kanak-kanak Mempunyai Hak’ – or ‘Children Have Rights’.



CRC @ 20

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