UNICEF asks all Presidential candidates to tackle 6 challenges faced by 6 million children

‘Ara Wade, A Vote For Children’ campaign launches. Visit www.arawade.lk to take action and download the report.

UNICEF Sri Lanka
UNICEF Sri lanka
18 October 2019

Thirty years ago, Sri Lanka made a historic commitment to protect and fulfil the rights of

children, by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – an

international law on childhood. Thirty years on, child rights have not changed but the world they live in has evolved. Global changes, like digital technology, climate change and mass migration are changing the lives of the children of today.

Sri Lanka has made several commendable strides, including lifting millions of families from extreme poverty, drastically reducing mortality rates for children under 5 and achieving an

almost-universal primary school attendance for boys and girls. Yet despite the gains made by Sri Lanka, there are still many children who are unable to live a happy, healthy life, and are unable to reach their full potential.  For Sri Lanka to continue its journey towards a prosperous and fair future, not one child can be left behind.

UNICEF has identified 6 critical issues facing Sri Lanka’s 6 million children. If these are tackled, Sri Lanka will unlock the full potential of its young people and drive the country’s sustainable development for generations to come.

To do this, Sri Lanka must:

  1. End child malnutrition forever, including by increasing investment into community-based care and treatment of acute malnutrition.
  2. Build an education system that prepares our young for the future, including by ensuring that every school places the child at the centre.
  3. Give every child a fair chance to succeed by ending child poverty, including through the establishment of a universal child benefit, as a concrete means to smoothing disparities, eliminating child poverty, and ensuring the right start in life for all children.
  4. Ban damaging physical punishment against children, including by legally and explicitly prohibiting any act of physical force or humiliating action while promoting and implementing positive methods of disciplining children.
  5. Create an inclusive and peaceful Sri Lanka for all, including through putting the National Action Plan on Education for Social Cohesion and Peace into action.
  6. Fight climate change and prepare Sri Lanka for its effects, including by prioritizing the conservation and restoration of forests, wetlands and other ecosystems and ensuring all government ministries consider the environmental impact of future programmes, while supporting climate change adaptation.

To mark this important moment, and the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF Sri Lanka has launch ‘Ara Wade: A Vote For Children’, a campaign that calls on all presidential candidates to commit publicly to addressing the rights of children when they take up office.

‘Ara Wade: A Vote For Children’ also aims to create awareness among the Sri Lankan public of the 6 critical needs of children, with the public encouraged to visit www.arawade.lk  to ask all candidates, via an online letter, to make this vital commitment.

Download the ‘Ara Wade: A Vote For Children’ report at www.arawade.lk