By Tracey Khan – Drakes
Ambassador Kopecky told the gathering that throughout the world thousands of children are denied rights which many take for granted. He sought to explain his various encounters of how many of children have their rights abused.
“Many are still unable to go to school. They are recruited into armed forces. They are forced into marriage at an early age. They have to work to provide for their family; in short they are denied the basic human rights and the opportunity to meet their full potential as they grow up,” Ambassador Kopecky said.
He explained the importance of the Child Rights Toolkit as a significant one, which seeks to ensure the rights of children are not compromised.
“By integrating child rights in development cooperation by providing practical guidance on how we can focus on children in all of the work we do, this new toolkit aims to ensure that children’s rights and initiatives to promote the well-being of all children are effectively integrated and applied across all of our EU development programming.”
Even though he highlighted the many achievements that have been made to safeguard the rights of children, he emphasized on the need for more to be done in this regard.
Meanwhile, Marianne Flach, UNICEF representative stressed that, “children should be our highest priority, and we should invest time and resources into ensuring that all children have the opportunity to survive and thrive, and grow up to reach their full potential.”
She further noted that by investing more in children’s health, education and protection, societies and communities will become more wholesome.
Stakeholders will now turn their attention to the 2015 agenda in which they will reflect on their gains in the last 25 years since the establishment of the convention on the rights of the child and where they will be moving.
In this regard, Flach added that, “if we have learned anything in the past 25 years it is that if we are to fully realize the rights of all children, we cannot work alone.”