To mark the Universal Children’s Day 2017 today’s session of “Journey of Art” at Kudakudhinge Hiya was led by children themselves, in line with the theme for the year 2017 – “Kids Take Over”. “Journey of Art”, is supported by Kurumba Maldives, under ARC’s Corporate Ambassadorship Programme.
Universal Children’s Day is dedicated to promoting the ideals and virtues symbolizing the protection of children and their rights in all countries. Globally, Universal Children’s Day also helps promote international togetherness, increase awareness among children worldwide, and improve children’s welfare.
Following extensive efforts to formalize these ideals as universal values, the General Assembly on the 20th of November 1959 adopted the “Declaration of the Rights of the Child”, one of the founding documents that defined the universal nature of the rights of the child. Subsequently on 20 November 1989, United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which remains as the most universally ratified Convention.
Since Maldives’ ratification of the Convention in 1991, important strides had been made such as in reducing infant mortality rates and improving access to education.
However, ARC wishes to note that significant efforts are needed in the Maldives to ensure all children, especially from vulnerable groups, are able to enjoy the full rights under the Maldivian Constitution and the Convention.
In this regard ARC hopes that the new Child Protection Bill and Juvenile Justice Bill as well as necessary amendments to the Family Act of 2000 will soon be signed into law. ARC also wishes to call upon State to ratify the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention, which Maldives had already signed on 28 February 2017.
Furthermore, equal commitment from the Government, Legislature, Judiciary and Civil Society, as well as the general public, media and private sector are needed to truly guarantee the rights of our children and to secure the prospects of future generations.
ARC would like to reiterate that the Convention is a commitment to promote the rights of children to survive and thrive, to learn and grow, to make their voices heard and to reach their full potential.