Protecting Our Future

Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, delivering his speech at the opening of the Asean Child Protection Training Programme. – JAMES KON

Story by James Kon
Posted date: January 07, 2014 In: Headline, National

THE Government of Brunei Darussalam is committed to ensuring that children-related issues are given high priority in the national agenda because they are important assets of the nation, some of whom will become future leaders. Several policies and programmes are in place to promote and protect the rights and well-being of children in the country.

Brunei’s high commitment to protecting the nation’s children was highlighted by Haji Mohd Rozan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports in a speech at the opening of the Asean Child Protection Training Programme held at Star Lodge Hotel yesterday morning.

Hj Mohd Rozan, who is also Head of the Brunei Darussalam Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development, outlined some of the key policies and programmes to help children in their development and welfare.

“Children in the country have enjoyed positive development and continued progress as a result of the nation’s proactive efforts in improving the lives of its people as reflected in our nation’s Vision 2035 that is geared toward an educated, highly skilled and accomplished people, an increase in the quality of life and towards a dynamic as well as sustainable economy.”

Children, he said, “enjoy free healthcare and medical services which are readily available to the population throughout the country. The sound government policies in the delivery of health services are reflected in the excellent indicators such as Brunei Darussalam achieving the Millennium Development Goals of 4, 5 and 6”.

He noted that “The maternal mortality rate was 15.6 per cent per 100,000 live births in 2010 and in 2012, there were only three maternal mortalities. Infant and child mortality rates have been reduced significantly from 30 deaths per thousand live births in 1970s to the current rate of 8.3 deaths per thousand live births and the mortality rate for children under five was 10 per thousand live births. Immunisation coverage has consistently been above 95 per cent for all vaccinations which met the targets set by the World Health Organization”.

In education, he said, “The Compulsory Education Order 2007 ensures that all children attend school for a minimum of nine years, while the National Education Policy emphasises that every child should have at least 12 years of schooling”.

For child protection against all forms of violence, abuse and negligence, he said, “Brunei Darussalam has in place legislations which provide legal protection and care.

“The Children and Young Persons Act provides protection and rehabilitation of children and young persons in an institution or with foster families.

“Under the Act, a multi-agency committee known as the Action Team on Child Protection was set up to discuss the issues of child protection and well-being. For children of poor families, they are provided with financial assistance in the form of subsidiaries and educational allowances.”

He acknowledged that the task of protecting children has become much more complex and demanding over the last decade whereby people who work with children in need of special protection, especially victims of domestic violence, require a wider range of skills, abilities, experience and knowledge in order to be effective.

According to UNICEF, an estimated 197 million children under the age of 18 are living in Asean member states. Although each country in Southeast Asia is unique, there are children in countries who are deprived of their right to grow up in a safe and protected environment.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin --

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