SAsian MPs meet to discuss children’s rightsLawmakers from eight South Asian countries gathered in Kathmandu for two days on Thursday and Friday to discuss the overall status of children in the region.
Lawmakers from eight South Asian countries gathered in Kathmandu for two days on Thursday and Friday to discuss the overall status of children in the region.
The first South Asia Parliamentarian Platform for Children conference organised by Unicef South Asia, in coordination with Parliament of Nepal, dwelt on issues of children ranging from their rights, health, education and disparities in their living conditions among others.
South Asia is home to 1.7 billion people and 621 million children under the age of 18.
“Parliaments throughout the world including in South Asia have the power to create lasting changes for children. It is therefore essential that Unicef engage strategically with parliamentarians in moving forward the agenda for children,” said Unicef Regional Office for South Asia in a statement.
Stating that the meeting provided a forum to agree to establish a ‘South Asia parliamentarian’s network’ to share and learn from one another, Jean Gough, regional director of Unicef South Asia, said. “I am confident that together we will find ways to translate our commitment to child rights into results, for every child in South Asia”
Delivering her opening remarks, Ranju Kumari Jha, chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Women, Children, Senior Citizens and Social Welfare, said: “It is time for us to question ourselves on how much we have been able to do to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor children. I am confident that these two days will not only help develop our relations but also help us firm up our commitment in drawing up a work plan on critical issues related to children.”
The regional meeting is a milestone in bringing together lawmakers from all eight countries in South Asia to prioritise, promote and safeguard children’s rights, said Unicef.