Making a promise to children
'My Promise to Children' campaign ambassadors singer Sasi the Don (far right), activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir (second from right) and actor Bront Palarae (left) together with Unicef’s representative to Malaysia Wivina Belmonte, posing with some of those who attended the campaign's launching today. — TRP pic by Mokhsin Zamani
PETALING JAYA, Nov 20, 2014:
For the first time, 10 civil society organisations have come together to spearhead a “My Promise to Children” campaign to emphasise children’s rights in Malaysia.
The three-month campaign will provide the public with a platform to unite and show their support for children as well as share their promises with friends, family and loved ones on social networks.
Children’s rights are enshrined in the Convention of The Rights of the Child (CRC) which was adopted by the United Nations (UN) on Nov 20, 1989.
The campaign also marks Malaysia’s accession to the CRC on Feb 17, 1995.
The campaign is led by Association of Registered Child Care Providers Malaysia (PPBM), Bar Council Malaysia, the Child Rights Coalition of Malaysia (CRCM), Digi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd (DiGi), digital marketing agency Isobar, Malaysia Paediatric Association (MPA), National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC), The School at Jaya One, The Scouts Association of Malaysia and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
Activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, actor Bront Palarae and reggae star Sasi The Don were appointed as campaign ambassadors.
During the period, the campaign partners will organise a host of initiatives to champion specific issues for children, starting this Sunday (Nov 23) with PPBM set to launch their “Stop It Now!#ENDviolence Against Children” campaign to raise awareness on child abuse.
In December, the Bar Council Malaysia and Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Malaysia (Proham) will run a programme for adolescents and youth during Human Rights Week, while DiGi will continue with their CyberSAFE in Schools programme for students and teachers.
Wivina Belmonte, Unicef representative to Malaysia and special representative to Brunei, said more and more children are realising their rights but there are still those who are left behind.
She said these children are neglected because they live in hard to reach areas including urban slums and rural communities, or because their lives are shadowed by systemic prejudice and discrimination based on gender, ethnicity or disability.
“I’m thinking of the son who endures daily beatings as he tries to protect his mother from abuse, or the daughter who is married off while still a child because she has been raped, or the sister who stays at home instead of going to school because she has younger siblings to look after.
“Children’s rights are brought to life not just by declarations, intention and words, but through commitment, investment and action.
"Without action, the best aspirations of the CRC amount to little more than words on paper,” she said during the launch of the campaign at Jaya One this morning.
Belmonte said while government are primarily responsible for protecting these rights, families have a vital role to play by giving the children love, understanding and happiness.
The public can make their promises to children at the campaign website — www.mypromisetochildren.org
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