30 May 2012

SAIEVAC Regional Meet on Ending Violence Against Children Begins

Leaders Renew Commitment to Eliminate Violence Against Children in All Forms
The South Asia follow up on regional consultation on the UN study on violence against children started in Colombo yesterday. It was inaugurated by Mr. Tissa Karalliyadha, Minister for Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Government of Sri Lanka. Leaders from many SAARC countries are attending the meet. 

In his inaugural speech, the Minister drew attention to the alarming statistics facing the SAARC countries in matters of violence against children, who face abuse, discrimination and violence in their homes, schools, work places and various other forms. 

During the inaugural addresses, the leaders and representatives from SAARC countries reiterated that this regional consultation presented an opportunity to deliberate and discuss on the steps taken since the 2005 meet and to collectively pool in the wisdom from the countries to derive concrete and measureable targets for the future. Representatives from governments of SAARC countries, experts on child rights and violence against children, professionals, academicians, NGOs from SAARC countries are attending this regional consultation. The aim is to devise policy measures to eliminate violence in all forms against children such as corporal violence, child marriage, child trafficking, child labour, child sexual and physical abuse. The leaders were unanimous in their observation that the social and economic cost of ignoring this phenomenon is significantly too high to be ignored by any government today. 

The consultation is being organized by SAIEVAC, the South Asian Initiative to End Violence Against Children, an apex body of SAARC. SAIEVAC released reports on the status of corporal punishment in SAARC countries. It also launched the campaign against corporal punishment. An exhibition of posters made by children depicting forms of violence was also put up. Representatives from governments of eight SAARC member countries are present for this meet. 

The Indian delegation led by Dr. Vivek Joshi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development is also attending the regional consultation.

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