Children draft manifesto
Agroup of children are taking the initiative by outlining what they feel needs to be included in a manifesto.
Kids Link Fiji, presented the Children’s Manifesto on the Rights of a Child to the The National Coordinating Committee on Children during the Children’s Symposium at the Holiday Inn Suva yesterday.
The organisation is a child-led initiative under Save the Children Fiji that advocates children’s rights. The manifesto contains four major areas that the children came up with concerning their safety and security.
These area are: Public spaces, schools, homes and the web. These areas cover the need for children to be treated with respect, dignity, love and feel safe physically, sexually and mentally in these areas. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said: “It is important to have platforms on which children’s voices can be heard. “Platforms such as this which highlight the interest of children and how they fit into greater governance structure of an economy.
“To all Fijian children, let me assure you that your government has delivered promises to see that you get the best available opportunities for your health, for your education, for your protection and for your future so that we do not leave any children behind. “For children with special needs and living with disabilities, you too are not forgotten as we will be made to account for the promises we have made as a government. “The Fiji of tomorrow will depend on how we care and look after our Fijian Children of today.” Mrs Vuniwaqa highlighted that this year, 683 cases of abuse against children had been reported of which 63 per cent of the victims were girls and 37 per cent were boys.
“As per the UN definition, 73 per cent of the reported cases can be classified as violence against children and this is not something we can ignore,” she said. Mrs Vuniwaqa says that child abuse and neglect had increased by 34 per cent over the last two years.
One of the reasons of the results was because of extensive media and awareness campaign by government and relevant stakeholders.
Edited by Ranoba Baoa
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.