16 Countries Join Online Discussion with UN…

Posted: 09/23/2014 in Advocacy

Children from 16 Countries Join Online Discussion with UN Committee on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations (UN) Committee on the Rights of the Child will be marking the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by holding a Google+ Hangout with children from 16 countries:  Albania, Australia, Belgium, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Japan, Lebanon, Nepal, Nicaragua, Philippines, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, and Yemen.    The children, as rights holders themselves, are given the opportunity to present issues of importance to them to the UN Committee.   The Google Hangout is an online platform for meetings that can accommodate participants to be in different locations.  The online discussion with the UN Committee will be on September 24 at 4:00 in the afternoon, Manila time.   This will be recorded and can be accessed afterwards from the UN Committee’s website.  The overarching theme of the event is the right to be heard.

Child Rights Connect, a Geneva-based organization, is coordinating the activity for the UN Committee.  In the Philippines, the Philippine NGO Coalition on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (NGO Coalition CRC) is leading the activities, in partnership with World Vision, Save the Children, and Plan International.  Child-led organizations and other groups of children organized by the members of the NGO Coalition CRC participated in the process of selection for the official and alternate representatives.  Nur Lemuel Castillo from Batangas, and Ma. Geneva Camacho from Cavite, are elected as the official representatives, while their alternates are Ryan Inopia from Pasay and Jasmine Fernandez from Quezon City.  The representatives are preparing to discuss the issues agreed among them which are child labor, corporal punishment, and programs and services for out-of-school children/youth. 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was officially adopted on November 20, 1989.   The Philippines ratified the Convention in 1990.    
The Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Kirsten Sandberg, will deliver a speech at the UN Headquarters in New York during the celebration of the 25th anniversary on November 20.   Ms. Sandberg will include the themes raised by children from the 16 countries that participated in the Google+ Hangout.  Making sure more children can be involved, the UN Committee and Child Rights Connect are inviting children to send in questions and comments via Twitter #crc25.  Children may also send in literary contributions to
crc25@ohchr.org.  
Members of the coalition include the ChildFund, ChildHope, Consuelo Foundation, ECPAT, ERDA, Good Neighbors, JJCICSI, Kindernothilfe,  National Council for Social Development, Open Heart Foundation, Plan, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns, Save the Children, Unang Hakbang Foundation, VIDES, and World Vision as the Lead Convenor.  Child-led organizations who are interested to participate in the series of activities may email the Secretariat at
coalitionsecretariat@gmail.com or contact any of its member organizations.

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