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Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - 4.55 GMT

Sri Lanka has the most child-friendly govt in South Asia - report


Sri Lanka has been identified as having the most child-friendly government in the South Asian region, according to The South Asian Report on the Child-Friendliness of Governments.

The South Asian Report on the Child-friendliness of Governments evaluates the efforts of the governments in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka towards fulfilling the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report compiled by the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) with the help of “Save the Children” and other stakeholders was unveiled under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at the BMICH yesterday (17).

The report finds that, regionally, India has done the most towards establishing an enabling legal and policy framework for children, closely followed by Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. At the same time, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have scored very well on health, education and child protection outcomes.

Overall, Sri Lanka has obtained the highest index score.

The report states that since 2000 in particular, governments in South Asia have put in place a basic enabling framework of laws, policies and institutions for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and made important progress in children’s health and education.

Yet South Asia is a vibrant region, with increased and fruitful interaction and synergies between governments and other child rights actors, including non-governmental organizations, children and their families. Having adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 20–25 years ago, the countries in the region have all taken notable steps to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of children. Substantial progress has been achieved in, for instance, improving access to education and health services and a few countries have had remarkable success in ensuring birth registration for most children and almost eliminated child marriage. The many successes and lessons learnt present an opportunity for the South Asian governments. As such, the foundational structures have often been established for continued work to transform the promises made into tangible realities for children, the report further said.

Throughout the report, children’s participation in decision-making affecting their lives is identified as a key requirement for realizing children's human rights and fulfilling the promises to children. As part of the general principle of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, child participation should therefore be promoted in all law and policy formulation affecting children, as well as in practice.

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Last modified: December 18, 2013.

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