Youth consultative forum in Turkmenistan
Youth consultative forum in Turkmenistan paves the way for establishing a youth advisory group on child rights
“We, the children, are experts in matters concerning us and ready to help the Government to develop child and youth focused programmes,” said Diyar Lomanov, young delegate at the Youth Consultative Forum organized by the Parliament of Turkmenistan and UNICEF.
The Forum on the occasion of the first anniversary of the adoption of the National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC) aimed at advocating for child and youth participation in implementation and monitoring of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the National Plan itself.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the right of every child to express views, taking into account the age and maturity of the child. The right of the child to be heard is a right in itself, but it is also important for the realization of all other rights. The NPAC also stipulates that children have a right for freedom of expression in all issues related to their interests and have a right to actively participate in social, cultural, economic and public life.
“With political will and adequate resources, children and young people can positively change our world. By organizing the Forum, we hope that the Government will consider establishing a youth advisory group on child rights,” stated Siraj Mahmudlu, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Turkmenistan addressing participants of the Forum.
Through an interactive session, young people had an opportunity to voice recommendations to the larger audience of policy makers on six goals of the NPAC, primarily, on CRC implementation, health, education, economic well-being, protection from violence and child participation and how children can play a role in implementation of the NPAC.
“With the enabling environment for child participation in our country, we are willing and ready to help develop laws and social policies concerning our life. We want to have a voice at home, at school, in the community and be able to run youth led associations. We want to participate in various decisions that affect our life,” said Jennet Shatova and Agageldi Dovletov, delegates representing the voices of youth.
If established, the youth advisory group could participate in implementation and monitoring of the NPAC and UNICEF-Government joint work plans, as well as in development and discussion of youth related policies and laws. The Group would be also instrumental in reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child and interacting with the Office of Ombudsman.
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 its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.