Every child has the right to be protected from violence

|     Lyna Mohamad     |

EVERY child has the right to survive, grow and be protected from all forms of violence hence all children have the right to be respected for their human dignity, physical and psychological integrity and to equal protection as stated in the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

This was highlighted yesterday by Brunei Darussalam Commissioner to ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) Dato Paduka Dr Haji Junaidi bin Haji Abdul Rahman at the National Consultation for the Mid-Term Review (MTR) of the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Plan of Action on the Elimination of Violence Against Children (ASEAN RPA on EVAC) .

“The convention specifies that it is the obligation of the state parties to address and eliminate the widespread prevalence and incidence of violence against children,” he added.

At the ACWC meeting in July 2011, it identified EVAC as one of the priority areas in its 2012-2016 ACWC Work Plan and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and EVAC was then adopted by the ASEAN leaders in 2013 where the declaration tasked ACWC to promote the implementation of the declaration.

The following year in 2014, ACWC endorsed the proposal to develop the ASEAN RPA on EVAC at the 10th meeting in Myanmar, said Dato Paduka Dr Haji Junaidi.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil and Dato Paduka Dr Haji Junaidi with facilitator Dr Victor Karunan and Child Protection Chief of UNICEF Malaysia Sarah Norton-Staal. – PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

He added that the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD) is an important sectoral body which oversees the welfare and development of children in ASEAN. All activities undertaken under the ASEAN cooperation on social welfare and development come under the purview of SOMSWD.

SOMSWD and ACWC have been working closely including working jointly in the formulation of the ASEAN RPA on EVAC and on this note he extended appreciation to Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Datin Paduka Dr Hajah Norlila binti Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Jalil for her unwavering support for ACWC, particularly ACWC Brunei Darussalam.

Yesterday’s national consultation for the MTR, gathers a number of major players relating to their roles and support in eliminating violence against children in Brunei Darussalam.

He added that the one-day workshop style consultation largely focussed on the implementation of the eight regional plan of actions, namely Prevention; Protection, Responses and Support Services; Legal Framework, Prosecution and Justice System; Capacity Building; Research and Data Collection; Management, Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation; Partnership and Collaboration; and Regional Review and Communication.

“Aside from fulfilling the requirements of the MTR as a member state of ASEAN, I personally feel that by reflecting on the progress made to date on the implementation of EVAC nationally, we could perhaps celebrate our successes, or perhaps identify gaps and challenges in our collective effort to move forward.”

Dato Paduka Dr Haji Junaidi expressed confidence that by end of the day they will all be able to play their roles in contributing to the preparation of the MTR progress report for Brunei Darussalam and thanked UNICEF for supporting this activity with the presence and involvement of facilitator Dr Victor Karunan.

Dr Victor Karunan has worked with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for over 16 years.

His postings with UNICEF are as Regional Advisor on Participation and Partnerships at UNICEF Regional Office in Bangkok, Chief of Adolescent Development and Participation in UNICEF Headquarters in New York and as Deputy Representative and Senior Social Policy Specialist in UNICEF Malaysia.