Rights of the Child Commission launches 5-year strategic plan and advocacy
The Rights of the Child Commission has launched a 5-year strategic plan and advocacy remains one of the important strategies it will use to arrive at its objectives and its mandate.
The Rights of the Child Commission was born out of the constitutional reform process of 1999 and 12 Commissioners were appointed in 2010. The Rights of the Child Commission is expected to, among other activities, monitor and review all the existing and proposed legislation that affects children’s rights and to educate the public on those matters. It is also mandated to investigate violations under the Rights Commissions Act and take action on behalf of clients whose rights have been violated.
The RCC is answerable to the National Assembly are expected to work with all agencies including the Ministries of Education and Social Services in the execution of their mandate. Clients of the Commission include in the first instance the children of Guyana. Clients also include independent constitutional bodies, state agencies, communities, civil society and religious organisations and the public.
The plan notes that Guyana’s population under 18 years of age is nearly 300,000 with Amerindians being the fastest growing population. It also lists Guyana’s Immunization Programme and access to primary education, as some of the areas where Guyana has achieved some level of success.
Challenges, however, remain in the area of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, as well as child labour. There is also the challenge of inadequate resources both human and financial, as well as a weak data collection system.