Erongo on track on children’s rights – UNICEF

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Development partners… The Governor of the Erongo Region Cleophas Mutjavikua with UNICEF country representative Micaela Marques de Sousa, who paid him a courtesy call on Monday.Photo: Eveline de Klerk

Swakopmund

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Country Representative Micaela Marques de Sousa has congratulated the Erongo Region for doing exceptionally in the protection and improvement of children rights in the region.

De Sousa, who paid a courtesy call on the Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, on Monday congratulated the region for a number of child indicators that show the region is doing well, especially in a health indicator such as child mortality.

She said statistics from 2011 indicate that at least 95 percent of children born in the region are in possession of birth certificates, which grants them access to schools without any hurdles.

“However, the vulnerability of adolescents remains a concern, particularly teenage pregnancies. Thus, we are urging the government to continue addressing these issues, particular focusing on the learner pregnancy policy at schools,” De Sousa explained. She said UNICEF is worried about “young people and their vulnerability especially to the socio-economic environment in the region”.

“This is in terms of violence or domestic violence against children, and their also being vulnerable to the risks posed by the trucking situation in the region, as well as the fact that some parts of the region are regarded as HIV/Aids hotspots. Thus we urge the governor to continue reiterating the protection of the children in the region and work closely with partner agencies to address such issues,” she said.

UNICEF is currently having a staff retreat in Swakopmund to reflect on its achievements and challenges of the previous years and also to see what contributions can be made by UN agency partners and by mobilizing alliances that will improve the conditions of children in Namibia. According to the governor Mutjavikua, the region will collaborate as it already has a good relationship with partners in terms of children’s protection.

“For us in Erongo it is an honour to be congratulated for our contributions. We are ready to participate more to develop programmes to address the challenges we face when it comes to the protection of children in our region as they are the future leaders,” he said.

UNICEF is present in 190 countries around the world and works towards the protection of the world’s most vulnerable children. It constantly monitors the situation of children worldwide and acts rapidly when an emergency strikes. It works with governments and partners to change laws and policies to help future generations of children.

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