Children’s rights events across Iraq conclude; several governorates agree to establish child rights committees

As Iraq marks International Human Rights day today, government officials, community leaders and thousands of children across Iraq’s 18 governorates have concluded nearly three weeks of events celebrating the 21st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Building on nationwide events in 2010 where the highest level authorities and children representatives called for the full protection of children’s rights in Iraq, this year’s events focused on a call to establish Child Rights Committees in all 18 Governorates.
“For the second year in a row primary duty bearers of children in Iraq have heeded the call to protect the fundamental rights of Iraq’s 15 million children” noted Sikander Khan, UNICEF Representative in Iraq. “The commitment of several Governors to establish Child Rights Committees to review the situation of children’s rights and develop plans of action on how to meet the most urgent needs of children in their respective governorates, is a very positive step to start concretely making Iraq more fit for its children”.
In Provincial Council halls and school yards all over Iraq, children called for better protection of their rights through songs, plays, speeches and drawings. In front of the Head of Missan’s Human Rights Committee and other Governorate Council members, a member of Missan’s Children’s Parliament stated “we call on the government to pass legislations that guarantee that child rights are protected according to the 54 articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which will be for the good of all children". In response, Missan’s Human Rights Committee chief pledged to develop mechanisms to include children in the decision making process relating to Child Rights and to increase investments in children with the aim of accelerating the attainment of Millennium Development Goal targets in Missan.
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