Lifeblood of society ~ Children

Child rights, human rights, in South East Asia. How have we progressed? Are children aware of their rights and are adults respectful of those rights? Does the system accommodate to the rights of all children? Or is it merely lip-service to satisfy the watch dog of the world --> the United Nations. 

Prevention and intervention against child abuse and neglect must start with the pledge between civil society and government, moving towards a common goal ~ prioritizing and reducing the consequences of poverty, such as homelessness and child labor. Poor children cannot participate nor can they full integrate into rights-based initiatives because of the prevalent discrimination and the stigma of poor, dirty children. 

Consistent global advocacy and exchanging of ideas at all levels are vital to instill positive behavioral change, from government down to societies, families and most importantly children themselves; for example introducing an Anti-Child Abuse and Human Rights curriculum, starting from primary schools. 

Members of Parliaments must be the principal exponents of human rights; jump-starting and overseeing government involvement, the disbursement of funds, breathing creativity and new thoughts into the education system, and as leaders, raise and increase responsiveness of concerns, and advocate within their constituencies. But is this happening at all? Where are the children in this equation? 

The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) is a useless entity. It does nothing to set sustainable behavioral change in the region nor does it flex any political muscle against a stubborn Institution, and thus becomes a ghastly illusion of child protection. ASEAN’s role does not stimulating society, it merely creates a redundant perception of not being able to actively participate. The CRC and other human rights mechanism is on the decline, despite the propaganda. Such core standards and rudiments call for the respect of the child’s human dignity, physical integrity and equal protection under the law --> but it falls on deaf ears and sinks into the swirling cesspool of apathy. 

A working group, comprising of children, must be formed to fully participate in any regional initiative in halting the violence, increasing awareness, and enabling children to be part of the solution, through child-friendly activities, thus creating and sustaining a democratic and just society. 

Children are the lifeblood of society, their happiness and wellbeing determines our present and future.


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