UNICEF champions children’s rights with commemorative events

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Unicef Philippines is holding two events this year to commemorate Typhoon Yolanda and the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). In photo are Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative for the Philippines (2nd from left), Zafrin Chowdhury, Unicef Chief for Communications and Private Fundaising and Partnership (1st from left), Grace Alejandrino, OIC Deputy Director, Council on the Welfare of Children (3rd from left) and Normina Mojica, Planning Officer for CWC.

UN children’s agency UNICEF announces two commemorative events this November to bring to light the situation of children’s rights in the Philippines. The one year commemoration of Typhoon Yolanda and the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) gives the country an opportunity to look back on the gains and challenges of growing up in a country facing multiple disasters, amidst a rapidly changing and socio-economic reality.

The CRC, the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, is focused on protecting and promoting children’s rights to survival, development, protection, and participation. Countries that have adopted the CRC—including the Philippines — are bound by its international laws and are required to always act in the best interest of children.

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Lotta Sylwander and Zafrin Chowdhury of UNICEF

“The Philippines made a set of promises to children when it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990. While more and more Filipino children are growing up happy and healthy, looking back on 25 years of progress reminds us what is still left to do and how the vision for Filipino children must shape up,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in the Philippines.

One of the key challenges facing Filipino children today is the effect of disasters on their well-being. Close to six million children were affected when the country experienced Super Typhoon Yolanda, the biggest typhoon in history.

A photo exhibit titled “Through the eyes of children: Stories of hope and resilience in Tacloban” will be launched to commemorate the one year anniversary of the typhoon on November 6, 2014 in Tacloban City. UNICEF photographer Giacomo Pirozzi uses a method that teaches children living in post-disaster situations to voice their experience and emotions through the lens — paving the way to healing, self-discovery and social participation.

For the CRC’s 25th anniversary on November 20, 2014, UNICEF, in partnership with the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will hold a commemorative event to spark conversations on the achievements, challenges and vision for a child friendly Philippines. A stock taking report will be presented by the Philippine government with children, partners, local governments, media and child rights advocates in attendance.

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