You & Your Family
Friday, 01 June 2012 02:30
By press release
Antigua St john's - As the World marks International Children’s Day on June 1, the Ministry of Health, Social Transformation, Local Government and Consumer Affairs is calling on all citizens of Antigua & Barbuda to make the welfare of every child a priority.
This is the appeal contained in a statement marking International Children’s Day, delivered by Senator Malaka Parker, Parliamentary Secretary to substantive Minister Wilmoth Daniel.
Senator Parker’s statement follows.
Remarks on the Occasion of International Children’s Day, 1 June 2012.
The Citizens Welfare Division –Child Protection Services under the Ministry of Social Transformation, recognize the fundamental importance of children to the development of a progressive nation, our families and the society.
As Antigua & Barbuda join the rest of the world to commemorate International Children’s Day on June 1st annually, we celebrate the joy and pure delight that children can bring to our lives and community. We are extremely grateful that today in our society children have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, while enjoying access to education, health care and other services provided by the Government of Antigua & Barbuda.
We pray however, for children in other parts of the world whose future continues to be impacted by the diminishing of morals and values in society. In essence they are denied access to basic health care and education in a safe, supportive environment.
Poverty and violence prevent many children from fully developing into healthy, productive adults. Nearly 300 million boys and girls live with violence, exploitation or abuse, including child labour, armed conflict and harmful cultural practices.
Approximately 75 million of them do not have access to education, and up to 55 percent live in fragile states. Nearly 10 million die of preventable diseases every year, and 40 percent die in their first month of life. These are problems that children face worldwide.
The Ministry of Social Transformation and by extension the Government of Antigua & Barbuda wishes to reinforce its commitment to improving the health and welfare of children and youth.
To this end the Citizens Welfare Division, with the assistance of United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), is currently developing a National Child Protection Policy. This document is advanced and is expected to be reviewed for national endorsement and implementation.
Other programs are currently underway to develop healthy leadership practices, strengthened laws and sensitize the public on critical issues affecting children. The ministry continues to promote the rights of children, and calls on all citizens to value the potential of every child.
It is our hope that through state, family and private interest in and protection of our most irreplaceable resource, we will provide healthy environments and opportunities for our children to assume positive and meaningful positions in our society.
We at the Ministry of Health, Social Transformation, Local Government and Consumer Affairs value our role in ensuring this - and we urge all Antiguans and Barbudans to make every child a priority, their dreams a possibility and their potentials a reality.