Political parties express commitment to Rights of Children -PPP/C pledges continued enactment of legislation and education initiatives

Georgetown, GINA, November 14, 2011
Source - GINA

Political Parties affix their signatures to a Call of Action as outlined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. From left are: Executive Member of The United Force (TUF) Roy Vantall, Prime Ministerial Candidate, People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), Samuel Hinds; spokesperson of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), Cheryl Sampson and Presidential Candidate of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan

The Political Parties contesting General and Regional Elections 2011 articulated their commitment to children of the country, at a forum held at the Umana Yana today hosted by the Rights of the Child Commission in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), under the theme; “Guyana’s Commitment: Making Children Visible”.

Representing the political parties were; Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for Change (AFC), Khemraj Ramjattan, spokesperson for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Cheryl Sampson, Prime Ministerial Candidate for the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic(PPP/C), Samuel Hinds and Executive Member of The United Force (T.U.F.), Roy Vantall.

Hinds noted that during the years of the PPP/C, several pieces of legislation were tabled, laws enacted which dealt specifically with ensuring that the rights of children are observed and penalties be imposed on those who thought it necessary to impede such rights. Some of those laws enacted are; the Adoption of Children Act; the Protection of Children; Sexual Offences Act, Evidence Amendment Act, which now sees children being accepted in the court as witnesses; and the Status of Children.

Further, the establishment of a Child Care and Protection Agency and a National Foster Care Programme all serve as support mechanisms for systems and initiatives the PPP/C government has enacted to protect children and women.

Rights of the Child Commission forum in Collaboration with UNICEF at the Umana Yana

Hinds said that in all the enshrined laws and tabled legislations it was stated that the State and the Court must have the children’s best interest at heart whilst making decisions involving them.

“Also many initiatives have been implemented by the PPP/C government so as to ensure families are comfortable, as this means children will be brought up in safe and secured environments and they are brought up in an environment which challenges them to have positive outlooks on life,” Hinds said.

Outlining the One Laptop Per Family Programme, the government’s housing drive which has realized the dreams of approximately 90,000 Guyanese, and government’s commitment of achieving its Millennium Development Goal on education, Hinds said that these are initiatives the PPP/C government has invested generous sums into, as it realises the need for the cooperative networking of not only education initiatives, but also housing and ICT based programmes on a national level, as these ultimately will have untold of impacts on the children of society.

Prime Minister Samuel Hinds articulating his party’s commitment to the rights of the child forum held at Umana Yana

Towards this end, Guyana copped 16 of 20 regional awards for its performance at the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate, testimony that the investments are paying off, he said.

He told the forum that once re-elected, his government will continue to invest in the areas outlined above, as positive results are being realised from these initiatives.

Ramjattan, Sampson and Vantall, all expressed a collective sentiment that more has to be done for children. Towards this end, they pledged their party’s commitment to continue the improvement of the lives of children and ensuring that their rights are protected.

Representatives of the political parties flanked by Commissioners of the Rights of the Child Commission and Dr. Suleiman Braimoh, UNICEF Representative, Guyana and Suriname

The end of the presentations saw the said representatives signing a Call to Action.
This document commits the presidential candidates whether they are in government or not, to promote, protect and further the rights of children, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was ratified by Guyana in 1991 and later entered into its Constitution.
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