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NATIONAL, DILI

INDICA organizes a meeting to hear the voice of children

INDICA organizes a meeting to hear the voice of children

Photo Tatoli/Francisco SOny

DILI, 16 february 2023 (TATOLI) – the Institute for Child Rights Defenders (INDDICA) organized a meeting titled “Listen to our concerns and guarantee our rights” for the two social groups including vulnerable, representatives of persons with disabilities and children.

The meeting that took place at the Dili Convention Center, aims to provide the opportunity to convey the difficulties of childrento political decision-makers and power holders to change.

At the meeting, the state entities, development partners, and representatives of the two groups discussed the mostly concerns issue about poor school conditions, lack of access to drinking water and sanitation, high rates of illiteracy, and child labor, among others.

The child’s representative, Olávio Almeida, stated in his speech that Timor-Leste has incompetent human resources and school infrastructure, adding that these numbers are even more alarming if you take into account the number of schools prepared to enroll children with special needs, the library is close or there are no complete books, in addition, the school meals are not nutritive.

He also expresses concern about health facilities, saying everyone is worried about health facilities:” If we talk about health, many rural areas still lack health centers and health facilities,” he said.

The President of INDDICA, Dinorah Granadeiro, explained that this meeting was also intended to draw the attention of political parties to avoid involving children in the political campaign but to prioritize them in the consent for the government.

“We bring together the children here to have listened. We also invited the President of the Republic and members of the National Parliament but none have managed to come”, Granadeiro said.

She said that it is an open secret that “many Timorese children have no access to education, many are engaged in business activities, we know that many establishments of schools do not respond to the needs of persons with disabilities while many children are malnourished”.

Meanwhile, a Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Bilal Durrani, in turn, said that around half of Timor-Leste’s children continue to live in poverty. “I take this opportunity to ask the current leaders to prioritize issues related to children.”

Deputy Minister of Solidarity and Social Inclusion, Signi Verdial, said that “The government has allocated a budget to support vulnerable children and families, especially to access education and health”, ensuring that the Gov’t continues to fight poverty, giving an example of implementing the Bolsa da Mãe Nova Program Geração, and also economic support from the World Food Program.

She also thanked the Australian Government for providing a budget of five million dollars for the implementation of the program.

 

Journalist: Jose De Sa

Editor: Nelia B.

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