Today marks 30 years since Bhutan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Bhutan is among 172 countries to have extended support to the joint statement titled “Protect our Children” at the United Nations (UN). The statement is an initiative in response to the UN Secretary-General’s call on countries to prioritise children’s education, food, health and safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

A joint statement from the foreign ministry, National Commission Women and Children, and UNICEF welcomed the release of the UN Secretary General’s policy brief outlining the harmful effects of the pandemic on children as well as the complementary agenda for action issued by UNICEF.  The agenda for action is aimed at protecting the most vulnerable children and to prevent this public health emergency from becoming a child-rights crisis.

The joint release stated that the government continues to accord high priority towards the protection and wellbeing of Bhutanese children and in ensuring that they are not deprived of their basic needs and rights during the current situation.

Among other initiatives, the NCWC with support from UNICEF and UNDP has developed a gender and child protection emergency preparedness and response plan during Covid-19 pandemic.

The plan covers all aspects of interventions to be implemented by relevant government and non-government partners to ensure that children’s needs and wellbeing are taken into consideration during the preparations and response to the Covid-19 situation.

The UNICEF Bhutan has been instrumental in supplementing the government’s efforts in preparing and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in ensuring the wellbeing of children during the current Covid-19 situation and has expressed their commitment to continue supporting the government in its efforts to protect all children in Bhutan, both during and after the pandemic.