Issues close to the heart of children in the Sultanate, such as Internet access for children, cost of nutritious food, sugar, obesity and unhealthy food were highlighted during the Voices of Children’s Forum by a panel of students acting as ministers and Members of Parliament.
The forum, held in conjunction with World Children’s Day 2023 celebration at the Banquet Hall, Legislative Council Building, was launched by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad.
Community Development Department (JAPEM) Acting Director Mohammad Khairul Shahrul bin Haji Duahim said, “World Children’s Day is celebrated annually on November 20 worldwide. Brunei is no exception as it continues to observe the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The celebration is our commitment to further raise the spirt of unity and awareness on the rights and well-being of children in the community.”
He also said, “Alhamdulillah, this year marks the 17th time the celebration has been held in Brunei, with this year’s theme ‘Inclusion, For Every Child’ focusing on children’s involvement by stressing the need to ensure that all children, including those with disabilities, are recognised, appreciated and given the opportunity to progress.”
One hundred and fifteen Year 9 to Sixth Form students attended the forum aimed at giving them an opportunity to voice their opinions on basic rights and their participation in society.
The forum enabled students to play the role of four ministers, four Members of Parliament and a chairman discussing and debating on four main issues: health, education, social and environment.
The event ended with a presentation of certificates by the minister to the source person, panel members and forum chairman.
The forum was organised by JAPEM at the MCYS in collaboration with the Brunei Youth Council, in partnership with public and private agencies including non-governmental organisations. – James Kon