Friday, 7 March 2008 11:07 AM

Child Rights Bill, Still on Hold

Ministry for Women, Youth and Children are working towards having a Child Rights Bill approved by the cabinet and the Parliament. A draft was made out in 2004 and is still yet in the working progress to be approved.

Solomon Times spoke to the Child Desk Officer for the Ministry for Women, Youth and Children, Mr. James Rizu and he stated that this is still a slow process. Mr. Rizu stated that there has to be a lot of awareness on the key issues concerning children for the rural people and the leaders of the country.

"Child Rights is still not a well known subject within the Solomon Islands communities. Once the communities and the leaders know more about Child Rights, they can understand and approve the Child Rights Bill in the cabinet and parliament," stated Mr. Rizu.

Mr. Rizu stated that although awareness talks are being carried out in the Western and Makira Province, where logging companies operate; there is still a lot of need to venture out into other rural areas to advocate on Child Rights. A lot of donors have given support towards this Child Rights Bill, but there is also a lot of need to define it into the local context making it simper for people to understand.

The Child Rights Bill is divided into four categories being the health of a child, child participation, child education and child survival which focuses on the best interest of a child.

Also in discussion by the Ministry for Women, Youth and Children and its stake holders is the Child Protection Bill that is still in draft.