Press Release – Message of His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana on World Children’s Day 2020

Every child is entitled to be nurtured in a healthy, protective and supportive environment that allows for the realisation of the fullness of his or her potential.  We all have a duty to ensure such an environment is cultivated for our children.

World Children’s Day, observed each year on the 20th November, challenges us to reimagine a better future for our children. The foundation for a better tomorrow must be built on promoting greater respect for and enforcement of children’s rights, providing adequate protection and care and strengthening children’s education.

The Government of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana is committed to promoting the rights of every child. It has enacted keys pieces of legislation relevant to child care and child protection. Guyana is also a signatory to international agreements such as United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and we wholeheartedly are committed to the rights and principles enunciated therein.

The protection and care of our children must be of foremost priority.   We propose to establish more child care programmes and centres. More day-care centres will be established for the children of employed mothers.   These will relieve mothers of the burdens of having to find persons to take care of their children while they are at work. To support these initiatives, a corps of child care providers and protectors will be trained.

Child care and protection must become the responsibility of all of our society.  We acknowledge the importance of child care services provided by private individuals, groups and non-governmental organisations.   Government will incentivise and provide support to those who provide such services.

The pandemic, unfortunately, has disrupted the provision of some of these services. We are however confident that we will eventually see the remission of the pandemic and restoration of normalcy.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.