Unicef calls for protection for children’s rights

Geneva, March 14: The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) Thursday said that children face special barriers in pursuing justice for violations of their rights, and called for special protection measures in this regard.

Millions of children across the globe have their rights violated, including being denied the right to quality health care, education and protection from abuse, violence and exploitation, Xinhua quoted the UN agency as saying.

It also said that while adding that only a few were able to seek recourse to improve their situation in a timely, fair and effective way.

“Equitable access to justice means ensuring that all children are served and protected by justice systems,”said Marie-Pierre Poirier, Unicef Regional Director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, in a statement.

She underscored the obstacles that children face in upholding their rights, saying that most countries’ social norms made it culturally and socially unacceptable for children to lodge complaints without parental consent, and even the idea of access to justice was inconceivable to children themselves.

Unicef called for the societies to make justice systems child-sensitive, in line with international standards, citing examples of progress including adapting court settings and police stations to make them less intimidating, training police officers, judges and magistrates to communicate with children in a sensitive manner and putting protective measures in place.

IANS