Save the Children PNG is celebrating Universal Children’s Day by asking children what they would tell the Prime Minister if they had the chance.
The aid agency is hosting events at several schools in Goroka, Wewak, Buka, Lae and Port Moresby, where children will be given the opportunity to send their message to Prime Minister James Marape.
The theme of the day is Pikinini Kisim Bek, meaning ‘children take back’.
Students from participating schools will write what they want to say to the PM on a billboard. Responses from across the country will be put together in a report and given to Prime Minister Marape and the Office of Child and Family Services.
Save the Children Regional Director Jennifer El-Sibai said there was no better day for adults to listen to the voices of children than Universal Children’s Day.
“In order to ensure the best possible future for our children, we need to listen to their opinions, their needs and their concerns. While we are formally doing this to mark Universal Children’s Day, it should be a greater part of everyday life. Children have a lot to say, and we must empower them to share their views,” Ms El-Sibai said.
“That’s why we are holding these special events, which will all focus on listening to the voices of children. Protecting and promoting the rights of a child is our greatest responsibility and greatest privilege.
“As adults and decision makers, we are responsible for children’s wellbeing, protection and rights but this should not diminish the importance of listening to their voices when it comes to matters that are important to them.”
Recently, Save the Children proudly joined the Pikinini Defenders campaign to increase the number of child protection officers in Papua New Guinea. Launched in response to the findings of the landmark report Unseen, Unsafe, the campaign is calling on the Papua New Guinea Government to make a commitment to fund 300 new Child Protection Officers in the 2020 Budget.
Universal Children’s Day is celebrated on November 20 as it marks the day in 1989 the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The convention sets out a number of children’s rights including the right to be protected from violence and discrimination, and the right to life, health and education.
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