OPM, UNICEF release joint report on review of Constitution with focus on children’s rights

− OPM acknowledges importance of children’s rights

− PM Nagamootoo hopes report will be used as a base document for constitutional commissioners  

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Prime Minister’s Office, in partnership with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Guyana, today released their joint report on the “Review of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic in Relation to the Rights of the Children”.

Guyana has initiated a process of constitutional reform and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has acknowledged the importance of ensuring children’s rights are well integrated, and in some cases made clearer.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo expressed optimism it will become a base document to be shared with the constitutional commissioners.

“Here are some recommendations, some analyses … into how child rights are looked at around the world. I’ve seen you have looked at other models including those experiences so that we stay within a universal framework,” the Prime Minister stated.

PM Nagamootoo noted too that when the Constitutional Reform Commission is formed it will be able to examine the new optional protocols that deal with the exploitation of children in situations of war or conflicts.

“We have also children being trafficked and used for illicit purposes and so we want to be guided by the best practices in the world,” he emphasised.

UNICEF’s Permanent Representative to Guyana, Sylvie Fouet said Guyana is on good grounding with just the enhancement of a few elements needed.

She congratulated the Prime Minister and his staff for the excellent job being done in the areas of Constitutional Reform with a specific focus on children’s rights.

The OPM and UNICEF have committed to further collaborations, following-up on the report’s findings and encouraging its use during stakeholder consultations, specifically those targeting youths.

This is to ensure that children’s and youth voices can be fully heard and reflected in the Constitution.

In addition, to influence the process the OPM and UNICEF agreed that one of the first steps would be to provide an assessment of the current Constitution.

This assessment will help to inform approaches to replicate the best of favourable models and avoid any provisions which do not serve to recognise children as rights-holders.

Stacy Carmichael.

Images: Keno George.


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