Leaders told to create a truly child-friendly ASEAN
Thailand’s Minister of Social Development and Human Security Chuti Krairiksh today (Friday) urged all ASEAN member countries to make a child-friendly ASEAN a reality.
In his address on the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Bangkok, the minister said that the occasion was an opportunity for ASEAN member countries to reflect on implementation gaps and to undertake additional measures to ensure that the rights of children are fully realized.
He stressed that Thailand is strongly committed to “putting children first and investing in our children, who will carry the region into the future.”
ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for Socio-Cultural Communities, Kung Phoak, reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of children.
“We have been working concertedly to create an enabling environment, in which our children can thrive and be empowered, ensure that their voices are heard and make their participation integral to all efforts which will affect their lives,” said Mr Kung Phoak.
UNICEF regional director for East Asia and Pacific, Karin Hulshof, said that, although children in ASEAN are better off today than those of 30 years ago, there is still unfinished business and there are new challenges, which are yet to be addressed.
“The CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child) remains the most powerful instrument to guide policy and interventions for both the new and stubborn challenges that children are facing,” she said, adding “childhood is changing. Our actions need to evolve and adapt, so that, together with our partners in ASEAN, we can improve the lives of each and every child, today, tomorrow and 30 years from now.”
ASEAN and UNICEF today launched a joint publication, entitled “Children in ASEAN: 30 Years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child”. The report features achievements and actions related to children’s rights in the region.
The report examines what the next 30 years might look like for children in ASEAN. It highlights 10 actionable recommendations, which include reinforcing regional systems and cross-border collaboration, ensuring no child is left behind, strengthening laws and policies, increasing public finance and social investment as well as strengthening data collection, analysis and use.