Child rights body engages Parliament on child rights

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A child’s rights body expects the next seating of parliament to prioritize on enactment of child rights bills that will improve the welfare of children and young people in the country.

In a statement, Child Rights Information and Documentation Centre (CRDOC) Executive Director George Kayange says the survival, protection and development of children is integral to human progress and to the country’s realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“We reckon that the legislative arm of government plays a critical role in creating a protective environment for children and young people,” reads the statement.

He observes that previously, civil society organizations intensified campaigns for the enactment of some bills that impact directly and have relevance on child welfare but parliament focused much on such other laws such as Section 65, Injunction Bill and the Police bill which advanced political interests.

CRDOC has since appealed that the coming parliament should not ignore bills that have been left unattended to for a longtime but whose potential impacts on children and vulnerable groups.

“We noted that this is simply because in our considered view society tends to perceive the latter as designed to address the rather less fancied ‘second generation’ rights as compared to more favoured ‘first generation’ rights.

According to the statement, some of the key pieces of legislation that urgently require either enactment or through debate by the Parliament are Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Bill, Tobacco Tenancy Bill, Disability Bill, Access to Information Bill and the Education Act.

“We would like to reiterate the need for parliamentarians to play their critical part in helping to create a protective and caring environment where girls and boys are free from violence, exploitation and unnecessary separation from family and where laws, services, behaviour and practices minimize children’s vulnerability, address known risk factors and strengthen children’s own resilience,” reads the statement. CRICOD is a non-governmental organization (NGO) which was established to contribute towards the promotion of rights and development of children and young people through information exchange, information documentation and information dissemination.

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