Ensure the rights of every child
- The future of a nation rests on how far its children gain access to early education and the extent to which they get to exercise their rights. Therefore, it is our duty to preserve and protect the inherent dignity of children, at all costs.
The rights of children include providing them physical and spiritual care, irrespective of skin colour, gender, religion, and race.
It is society’s moral responsibility to provide them education and protection from abuse and discrimination.
Adults must not think that it is up to the law to guarantee children their rights and give them protection. We all have a moral responsibility to prevent major exploitation of children. Observance of unwritten rules makes for a civilized society.
Children need to be made aware of their rights, and our society must reflect on how it treats our children. We must be pragmatic as we work according to our motto: “The country’s future is in the hands of our children”. And, we must not simply pay lip-service to it.
Myanmar has been party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1991 and has enacted The Child’s Rights Law accordingly.
The amended Child’s Rights Law, enacted recently, encourages the authorities concerned to ensure that philanthropic shelters and temporary shelters meet certain set standards.
Children require security in addition to progress in their overall development. The states and regions have the legal authority to carry out child development and security tasks. There is a significantly large population of children who cannot attend preschool, and this is a priority area on which we can work together.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement has expanded the number of preschools from 99 in 2016 to 128 this year. To ensure the security of children, licenses have been made mandatory for private day-care centres.
On our part, we need to find ways to ensure that children lodged in prisons retain their rights, increase efforts to prevent and raise awareness on the rising incidence of child sexual abuse, and disseminate the new law across the nation, right up to the level of subnational Hluttaws.
As our country struggles for political stability and economic improvement, it is facing challenges in improving the remaining sectors. There are also hindrances which are delaying the country’s advancement, and the Union Government is putting all its energy into securing the basic needs of the people, including livelihood and the rule of law.
Hence, the whole society has an obligation to enforce the Child’s Rights Law and other laws which guarantee rights to children.