Sunday, June 21, 2015

Brunei Joins Asia-Pacific Nations Advocating Children's Rights

Members of the Brunei Council on Social Welfare in the foundational course on Children’s Rights in Bangkok. Courtesy of MKM

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Saturday, June 20, 2015

BRUNEI non-governmental organisations earlier this week joined their Asian counterparts in a course to help mitigate child trafficking and online sexual exploitation.

Organised by Ateneo de Manila University’s Human Rights Center, the foundational course in Bangkok aimed to bring together national coalitions and networks in Asia Pacific to learn the positive and negative impact of ASEAN economic integration on children’s rights.

In a statement, the Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) said this was the first foundational course for national and regional civil society organisations that advocate children’s rights.

Datin Paduka Hjh Intan Hj Mohd Kassim, Brunei’s ASEAN commissioner for children and current chair of ASEAN Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children in Asean participated in the course with Nur Judy Abdullah, MKM’s first vice-president.

Datin Paduka Hjh Intan, who is also president of MKM, was also the resource person during the course on the “Right to Development Focusing on Education as Parent and States Shared Responsibility: Challenges and Good Practice”, in which she shared Brunei’s best practices on upholding children’s rights.

Nur Judy said the course, held from June 15-18, was relevant to MKM’s work on the protection and realisation of children’s rights.

“We now better understand the application of the four general principles of child rights under the UN Convention on Child Rights namely: survival, protection and development, best interest of the child, non-uphold the rights of all children regardless of their ethnicity, gender, age or circumstances in life to achieve their full potential,” she was quoted as saying.

Other Brunei NGOs that participated in the course were SMARTER and Brunei Darussalam AIDS Council.

The course, a part of the project of Save The Children to make ASEAN more child-friendly, is an introduction to the international framework on children’s rights and how it is implemented and applied in the region.

Brunei acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in December 1995.

There are at least 200 million children living in the region today, the statement quoted Hope Tura, manager of Regional Child Rights Governance Programme of Save The Children.

She said while ASEAN countries have made progress in improving the situation of children, the performance is uneven where rising inequalities within and across countries are observed. Tura added millions of children from vulnerable and socially excluded groups such as ethnic minorities, children with disabilities, children in rural areas and in urban poor communities remain without adequate healthcare, nutrition, education and protection.

The course brought together 30 representatives from ASEAN member countries. - Izzati Jalil

Courtesy of The Brunei Times

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