Activities marking Universal Children’s Day kick off this Sunday
November 11, 2016
Activities marking Universal Children’s Day kick off this Sunday

ACTIVITIES MARKING Universal Children’s Day begin here this Sunday, November 13, under the theme “Stop violence against children”.

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.{{more}}

According to Minister of National Mobilization with responsibility for Social Development, the Family, Gender and Youth Affairs Frederick Stephenson, leading up to the day, a number of activities will be held here.

“The Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the wellbeing and human rights of the world’s children, especially those suffering the impact of discrimination and exploitation,” said Stephenson, while speaking about the activities during a press briefing at his office on November 4.

This Sunday, the Minister will declare the week open, while on Monday, November 14, a number of Universal Children’s Day features will be broadcast on national television during programmes like ‘Encounter’, ‘the Law and You’ and ‘Police on the Beat’. Tuesday, November 15, the ‘Gender in Focus’ programme will be dedicated to the nation’s children, while on Wednesday, November 16 and Thursday, November 17 a number of road shows will be held (from Kingstown to Georgetown and from Kingstown to Petit Bordel) and on Friday, November 18, there will be an exhibition at the Car Park (Old Treasury Building site in Kingstown).

On Friday, November 19, Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne is expected to deliver a Universal Children’s Day message, while Minister Stephenson is hoping that on Sunday, November 20, Christian institutions will dedicate all or part of their services to children. Sunday will also see a panel discussion on the Views and Issues radio link programme on NBC radio.

On Monday, November 21, three fun day activities will be held, in Union Island, Bequia and Sion Hill.

“Every year in St Vincent and the Grenadines, children become victims of untold violence and face various forms of abuse neglect and violence. The abuse takes place at home, in schools, in institutions, in communities….growing up with violence and abuse seriously affects a child’s development, dignity and physical and psychological integrity,” said Stephenson who stressed that it is important to focus on and recognize children.

“November 20 marks the day in 1989 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on the rights of a child…Today we reaffirm our obligation to do everything in our power to enable all children to survive and thrive, learn and grow and have their voices heard and reach their full potential. It’s time to break the silence and stop the abuse against children,” stressed Stephenson.

He noted that locally, the Government saw it necessary to reform a number of services relating to children and as a result, established the Child Protection Unit, which is currently working with approximately 200 abused children.(LC)