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Groups Ask Governments To Factor Child Rights Into Macro-Economic Policies

School childrenThe United Nations (UN), in conjunction with the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) and Ufuk Dialogue Foundation have called on the federal and state governments to formulate national programmes to assist families and to engage in further dialogue between policy decision makers and researchers on child rights issues to ensure that macro-economic programmes are guided by the child rights approach.
The groups which organised a two-day International Family Conference IV on Children Rights and Family on 19 – 20 November 2016, in Abuja, Nigeria, to mark the November 20 Universal Children’s Day, recommended that national development plans should consider the future demographic shifts, notably through stronger civil registration and vital statistics systems. This, they said, would ensure that children are well positioned in national policies.
A communique, issued after the conference which was attended by representatives of various governments from about 15 countries, lawmakers, civil society groups and other stakeholders, urged the governments to adhere to the role of the family as a basic social unit of any society.
“We recognize that the primary responsibility for the development and protection of the child rests with the family and particularly the parents and those who have custody on the child. Therefore, we remind leaders on their commitments to provide the needed support, relevant information and services to the family as well as to promote the abilities of children to protect themselves and to be actors of their own development.
“We urge governments, communities, civil society and families to prevent domestic violence through multi-disciplinary policies, legal measures and innovative strategies.”
The Conference was held in partnership with the African Union Commission and Arigatou International-Prayer and Action for Children, with support of Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution and Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme.
The Conference included technical presentations on country experiences and research conclusions with regards to children and well-being, children and education, children and violence, family and parenting, and children’s rights, which brought key messages and lessons learned that guide the recommendations for action as contained in the communique.
The conference coincided with this year’s celebration of the 27th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on November 20 and the 17th anniversary of the entry into force of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the
Child on November 29.
It acknowledged the fundamental guiding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child including the rights of the child to life, survival and development, to a name, a nationality and a family, the respect of the best interests of the child, the principle of non-discrimination and the respect of the views of the child in all action affecting his or her life while taking into account the age and level of maturity of the child.
The participants said that they recognized that the family, as the natural and fundamental group unit of society, has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children and that children, which means every human being below the age of eighteen, for the full and harmonious development of their personality, should grow up in a family environment and in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.
“We support the Human Rights Council resolution 28/19 on the Rights of the Children’s Towards better investment in the child that request states to collect statistical data and relevant and accurate information relating to investment in children, including when possible, progress is made and challenges encountered.”