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CPA launches general comments report on child friendly budget

Dec 21, 2016, 11:08 AM | Article By: Adam Jobe

Child Protection Alliance (CPA) launched on Monday the general comments on a child-friendly budget at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia, as part of on-going activities of popularising the comments.

The General Comments document is a report written by the UN Committee of Experts on the rights and welfare of children, which they write annually.

The launching brought together stakeholders, senior government officials, protocol officers and children across the country to popularise the general comments, which assist state parties to involve children in realising their rights by allocating special budgets for children.

The general comments report is developed to improve understanding of the obligation under the convention in relation to budgeting for children’s right so as to strengthen the realisation of those rights, as well as to promote real change in the way budgets are planned, enacted, executed and followed up to advance implementation of the convention and its optional protocols.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Famara Darboe, CPA board member, said the event marked another historic milestone for CPA as they embark on great work to promote and protect the rights and welfare of children.

He said as a leading child right organisation, they wish to engage ministries, departments, CBOs, NGOs and other bodies and children focused on the effective implementation of the general comments document to advance the rights of every child.

He thanked all child right organisation partners for accelerating the call to promote the rights and welfare of children, adding that a lot needs to be done in the realisation of the rights and welfare of children.

Mr Darboe said CPA is committed to reaching a society where children are protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation and are given the opportunity to participate in the deliberation of all issues affecting their own lives.

In her remarks on the occasion, Fanta Bai Secka, director of Social Welfare department, said priority should be given to children and special budgets should be allocated for them to realise their rights. “The greatness of a nation is nurtured by the investment made towards children,” she said.

Social protection makes child protection functional, she said, adding that she would ensure families take off their primary responsibility to protect their children in an enabling environment for children to develop their full potential.

Children issues cannot be addressed without funding families as a subset of an intervention for children, on the participation and corporation of families and the communities.

‘We should go with the principle that every child is special and should be prepared beyond tomorrow,” she noted, saying government should therefore invest adequately in their development, especially in their early childhood stage.

For her part, Fatoumatta A. Jallow, President of Voice of the Young, said state parties should ensure that priority is given to children across the world in budget allocation, especially in relation to survival, protection and participation as they are the future leaders.

She said state must not discriminate children in budget allocation, resource mobilization and sending of public funds, the interest of the child should be the primary focus in the budget allocation at all times.

Hon. Abdou Colley, National Assembly Member, deputising for the speaker, and officially launched the ceremony, said budget planning and allocation are crucial process to which children should be included at all times.

He said if the nation should have good future leaders, government should seriously invest in children, education, health and social service for children across the country.

 He pointed out that budget allocation is not all about how much money is available but it is about ensuring that the available resources are in favour of children, who should also be included and made to participate in the budget process.