Brunei committed to protect children’s rights

James Kon

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in his message for Universal Children’s Day reiterated the continued commitment of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to protect and safeguard children’s rights in the country.

The minister said “Firstly, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) would like to wish a happy Universal Children’s Day for this year. 2019 has been special because it not only marked the 13th time Brunei Darussalam is celebrating Universal Children’s Day but this year is also the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which has improved the life of children globally by raising the standard of survivability of children under five years and almost reduced half the number of malnourished children since its inception.”

In line with this year’s theme ‘For Every Child, Every Right’, the minister said, “The Government of His Majesty through the ‘Whole-of-Nation approach’ actively continues to make sure children are always safe and receive their rights.”

He added, “This year in particular, we are very proud to have realised various initiatives such as updating the licensing process of child care centres on August 1, produce and launch the National Guide for Physical Activity and Nutrition for Child Care Centres in Brunei Darussalam on August 24 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH); and the launch of Talian Anak Negara Aset Kitani (ANAK) 121 on October 1 in collaboration with Telekom Brunei Berhad (TelBru).”

It is undeniable from 2013 to 2018 that there is a 40 per cent increase in cases of children needing protection in the country. This is an opportunity for all parties to work together to further broaden the platform for the community to lodge complaints and also strengthen the monitoring system so that assistance or intervention can be provided as fast as possible.

The minister said, “Towards further raising awareness among the community on children rights and to make sure children’s welfare are protected, we are working together with government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to carry out a number of activities in conjunction with Universal Children’s Day on November 24 in a number of places including Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien to promote children’s rights and together with Brunei Council on Social Welfare (MKM) at the MCYS will celebrate with 100 children from underprivileged families. Insya Allah, both events will feature interactive activities that will appeal to the public, especially children.”

He said, “The MCYS as a government agency entrusted with protecting the well-being and development of children will continue to strive to ensure that no children will be left behind on equal rights in line with the National Action Plan for Children’s Well-Being.

“Every child has the right to grow up in a safe and loving family and to be protected as well as to achieve the fullest of their potential. With a united front of ‘Whole-of-Nation approach’, this objective will become a reality.”