On the occasion of 30 years of Convention of the Rights of the Child

Staff Reporter

Parliamentarians from Bhutan will attend the third annual South Asian Parliamentarian Platform for Children (SAPPC) in Colombo to discuss how to ensure rights for all children.

Parliament of Sri Lanka together with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is hosting parliamentarians from across South Asia to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

A press release from UNICEF Bhutan sates that the parliamentarians will take the situation of children in the region and discusses key challenges towards realisation of all rights of all children to ensure further progress.

The platform is expected to make new commitments to push the national agendas for the realisation of child rights by the parliaments.

Regional Director for UNICEF South Asia, Jean Gough said that the convention helped the transformation of children’s lives for the better and has also ensured that governments have favorable policies, changed laws, and made investments so that more children get the chance to thrive and have a good, protected childhood.

However, he said that the convention was still not fully implemented everywhere, and millions of children continue to suffer violations of their rights when they are denied adequate healthcare, nutrition, education and protection from violence.

The head of Bhutan’s delegation, Samdrup R Wangchuk (PhD), who is a member of the National Assembly’s Women, Children and Youth Committee, said, although Bhutan has made impressive progress in the well being of the children, challenges still remain.

He said that the reach of Early Childhood and Care and Development was still low and even lower for children with special needs. “As parliamentarians, we are responsible for framing laws and policies that ensure the rights of our children. Investment in our children is an investment for the future.”

The press release states that the Convention on the Rights of the Child was most widely ratified human rights treaty, “Thirty years on, child rights have not changed, but childhood for about 627 million South Asian children has changed with the coming of the internet, the effects of climate change, rapid urbanisation and other emerging issues.”

“We see new threats for children, but also many new opportunities for children to realise their rights. That is why we are content to be working with parliamentarians from all over South Asia to ensure that we speed up positive actions for children to ensure a healthy and educated young generation across the region,” he said.

The two-day event will begin today.