Speech by EU Ambassador Jernej Videtič at a Childlink Workshop for the
Child Rights Alliance Project.
Monday May 29, 2017
Herdmanston Lodge, Georgetown
Honourable Prime Minister and First Vice President Moses Nagamootoo
Honourable Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman
Ms Omattie Madray of Childlink
Ms Aleema Nasir of the Rights of the Child Commission
Mrs. Indra Chandrapal – Chairperson Women & Gender Equality Commission
Members of the Rights of the Child Commission
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
A special welcome to all the children present here today because today, this workshop is about you. Every child should be recognised, respected and protected as a rights holder, with non-negotiable rights to protection. You are the future and all efforts must be made to ensure that your rights are preserved and protected. In this regard I'd like to remind you all that the European Union has a long term commitment to creating safe families and communities for Guyanese children. Jernej Videtič
I remember signing the contract for the Child Rights Alliance project with Childlink in January 2016 just a few months after my arrival in Guyana. I believe at the time the amount of funding would have been around GYD 76 Million which came from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) 2014-2015 country allocation for Guyana.
Before I go further let me remind everyone that Human Rights are one of the core values of the European Union and its Member states. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights provides the possibility to support civil society projects in this area also in Guyana. The rights of vulnerable groups, especially children are particularly important in this regard.
The Child Rights Alliance builds on our previous and current work more specifically on the work of the Child Advocacy Centres which were all funded by the European Union. Whilst these centres continue to provide services to abused children, greater emphasis must be placed on prevention to give more children a better chance to grow up without the trauma of abuse.
The Child Rights Alliance has been working to strengthen national collaboration for the prevention of violence and abuse against 6,000 children through improved networking, influencing policies and practices and advocacy in Regions 3, 4 and 5 by June 2018. Further, the activities foreseen under the grant supplement work done already by ChildLinK under 3 previous grants totalling over GYD 86 Million which were funded from previous EIDHR Calls for proposal put out by the EU Delegation here in Guyana.
In closing I wish to highlight that the EU Agenda for the rights of the child aims to reinforce the full commitment of the EU - as enshrined in the Treaty of Lisbon and the Charter of Fundamental Rights - to promote, protect and fulfil the rights of the child in all relevant EU policies and actions. This agenda includes 11 concrete actions where the EU can contribute in an effective way to children's well-being and safety. As such we will continue to working with the Government of Guyana, Childlink and all other stakeholders in ensuring the protection of the rights of children in Guyana.