The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has commended the Fijian Government for its continued commitment to advance children’s rights and development in Fiji. This was revealed at the official launching of the Child Sensitive Social Protection in Fiji: Assessment of the Care and Protection Allowance Report.”
In her official address, UNICEF Pacific Representative Dr Karen Allen said that UNICEF is pleased with the partnership and commitment of the Fijian Government towards child empowerment in Fiji.
“In May 2015, Fiji was the host country for UNICEF Pacific’s High Level End-Violence-Against Children Conference, which was attended by 12 Small Pacific Island States, Papua New Guinea, and Ms Marta Santos Pais, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children. UNICEF is also currently working with the Ministry to implement the Child Helpline and to develop a national child protection policy.
Social protection is one of a child’s fundamental rights. Article 26 of the CRC recognizes a child’s right to social security and Article 27 addresses the right to an adequate standard of living recognising the primary responsibility of the child’s parent in this regard, and the role of the State to assist the child’s parents or caregivers to fulfil this right.
“I would like to remind us of the comments made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in response to Fiji’s excellent State Party Report, in relation to standard of living. The Committee recognised the progress Fiji is making in ensuring social protection and I am pleased to acknowledge the commitment of the Government of Fiji to implement the concluding observations and recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and for including a budget allocation in its 2015 National Budget in this regard,” Dr Allen said.
She said that an active partnership with the Ministry and UNICEF had been providing extensive technical and financial support for strengthening the national child protection system since 2008.
“In the area of social protection, both our organisations hold firm the commitment to uphold the right of all children to adequate standard of living which guarantees to them the nutrition, care and education they need to become fulfilled and productive citizens. Social protection programmes such as the Care and Protection Allowance is one of the ways for the government to ensure the fulfilment of these rights.
We are happy to see the development of Fiji’s long-standing social protection programmes. With its cash transfer schemes for the vulnerable population including poor families, vulnerable elderly and children, Fiji sets an example to other Pacific Island Countries. The Care and Protection Allowance, a targeted cash transfer programme specifically for children, is the first of its kind in the pacific,” Dr Allen reiterated.