Count me as every citizen (Kontem tankou tout sitwayen)

 

Kids playing at Municipal Palace of Delmas

This Sunday, June 10, nearly 3,000 children from all over the country celebrated “The National Day of the Haitian Child”. The kids converged on the Delmas Municipal Palace to take part in the festivities. Early in the morning, dozens of buses dropped off the children, one could read impatience in their eyes, they did not want to stay in the ranks. The right to leisure is a right guaranteed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

This day is the culmination of the Children’s Week, organized by the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), with the support of partners including UNICEF.

Port-au-Prince, June 11, 2018- The municipal palace of Delmas, was dressed in his best clothes to receive children: bouncy castles, trampolines, slides, rockers; a large stand to receive the children’s performance, all decorated with multicolored balloons. Children of all ages, with t-shirts sporting the theme of the day, ran in all directions. An improvised football match was very successful.

The children danced, jumped and played together. They wanted to enjoy this day that was devoted to them. Speakers broadcast music on children’s rights. On the stand, there were talent competitions, several children, sang songs that made the assistants vibrate.

“I am very happy to be here. I think it is important to celebrate the rights of children by involving them. These children have fun and run in all directions, many are not used to using these games. Because their family situation is very difficult, “says a 16-year-old.

Strengthen children’s rights

A young girl singing

Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, Executive Director of IBESR, the hoarse voice, so much she sang, thanked everyone who came to participate in this celebration, mainly children. “It is a day of hope and promise in accordance with the theme chosen: Count me, like any citizen. By this theme children claim their rights, they ask that they be valued within society, they have a place in the construction of the country, “she said.

She emphasized the importance of allowing children to celebrate and have a special time for them. “This moment allows them to forget, for a moment, the sorrows and the problems they experience daily,” she said.

Mrs. Villedrouin made a solemn appeal to all sectors of society: parents, government officials, politicians, educators, to think and work so that all these children have a chance of success in life.

The National Haitian Child Week was rich in events promoting the rights of the child. A press conference with teenagers opened the week, there was a children’s fair with exhibitions of the main partners of the IBESR, conference-debate at the local institution. The National Day of the Haitian Child was instituted in 1960.

 

Official launch of National Child Week

The adolescents and Mrs. Villedrouin during the press conference

As part of the National Children’s Day to be held on June 10, the leaders of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) launched the week of childhood. This year, the celebration will be organized by and for the children. They logically participated in the launch conference by putting their aspirations on the map. Among the participants, UNICEF, which is a key partner in the child protection sector, was there.

“Konte m tankou tout sitwayen” (Count me like other citizens) is the main theme of this week. The children got together to choose it. The adults did not influence this choice, per the general director of the IBESR, Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin.

Konte m tankou tout sitwayen is more than a theme, it is a reminder of the obligation made to the Haitian State and parents to guarantee to every child, from birth, his right to identity, to a nationality and therefore, to a citizenship. In accordance with Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, “said Marley-Gnuelia M., 14 years old.

She recalled that the child is a subject of law and deserves all the protection to which he is entitled. “We are Haitians because the state recognizes us as a group of people in society and is the guarantor of our rights. Because as a human being we are born with all our rights”, she added.

Dawoodly D., 14 years old, welcomed the fact that children are involved in all the commemorative activities of Children’s Week. “This is an opportunity to enjoy our right to participation, but also to invite decision-makers to take responsibility for the rights of every child,” he insisted.

“It is an obligation for the State to immediately provide identification papers to a newborn. Children are entitled to birth certificates that prove they are citizens of the country, by virtue the law, “said Dawoodly. For him, the State must put in place a system that allows the effective recording of information to avoid identity problems in the future. “It is an obligation for the State to guarantee our rights, it must be aware of our existence and recognize that it has obligations to us,” he said.

“I have to count myself as all citizens because we are all born equal in law. We have the same rights, per Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “said 17-year-old Ronide L.

The Haitian Constitution makes no distinction in terms of rights between adults and minors, she said. “Although we understand that for some rights, there are conditions that relate to age, physical and intellectual abilities …”, she said, adding that the State has the obligation to guarantee the rights of all children, living in the country.

A week rich in activities focused on children

Mrs. Villedrouin expressed her emotion by hearing the speeches of these young teenagers. “This indicates their willingness to recognize their place in society. They represent the future of the country. At the IBESR level, we really wanted to highlight children so that they could express themselves, “she said. She took the opportunity to greet the various partners present including UNICEF, “the day-to-day partner of IBESR”.

Among other activities: The Child Protection Fair, with the participation of partners; chats in different schools, there will be recreational activities throughout the week; the climax will be June 10 with more than 2000 children, with the participation of important artists like Jean Jean Roosevelt, there will be clowns, games for children. Most activities will take place at the IBESR premises.

The National Children’s Day was instituted by the Haitian State in 1960. It aims to promote the rights of Haitian children.

Launch of the ” Journalistic Practical Guide: Promoting Children’s Rights in Haitian Media ”

Jacques Desrosiers, presenting the Guide. ( Photo Credit, J.J. Augustin)

Journalists can generate debate around the topics that shake society. They can move the lines. About children, there are many issues, we can talk about children who are not in school, access to health care, children in conflict with the law. It is for this reason that the main partners of the Child Protection have developed a journalistic guide to facilitate the work of journalists in the treatment of information related to childhood.

Port-au-Prince, 10 May 2018- UNICEF, the International Labor Office (ILO), MINUJUSTH together with the Association of Haitian Journalists (AJH) and the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) launched this Thursday, May 10, the “Journalistic Practical Guide: Promoting the Rights of Children in the Haitian Media”. The journalists were present in large numbers because they were the main interested parties.

Among other objectives; provide Haitian journalists with practical tools in the processing of information related to children; to ensure the effective and continuous promotion of the rights of the child in the Haitian press.

Mr. Jacques Desrosiers, Secretary General of the AJH, presented the main categories of the guide, designed in a practical way, and easy to use. The guide is divided into five main parts: ethics, legal framework, thematic fact sheets, fact sheets, main contacts to enable journalists to find resource persons in the processing of information related to childhood. “This book raises the issue of the rights of the child to achieve their respect and provide the necessary benchmarks, useful knowledge to those who are best placed to promote these rights: the journalists,” he said.

Promote children’s rights

Ms. Claudine Francois, ILO coordinator, a.i , welcomed the steps taken to “… harmonize reference documents for media involvement in issues around promoting and respecting the rights of the child. The guide will effectively reach public opinion and rally the greatest number to improving the health, well-being and protection of Haitian children. ”

“By my voice, the ILO in Haiti hopes that this guide will help you strengthen respect for the rights of our children, and that it will provide the right tools for a deeper engagement of each of you in your home institution. your community, “she told reporters.

Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, in her speech. ( Photo Credit, J.J. Augustin) 

Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, IBESR’s Director General, said this “journalistic guide is a sign of hope for the future. The hope that with this tool a step forward is taken for the respect of the constitutional and legal norms of the protection of the childhood in Haiti “.

“This guide should be a compass for you to accompany you in your job as a journalist today and tomorrow. The attention and understanding we give to children depends on our future, the future of the country, “she said, making a solemn appeal to the media on National Children’s Day June 10, 2018, for a more active participation by giving priority to the voice of children.

Raoul de Torcy, Représentant adjoint de l’UNICEF, a souligné que le « guide met l’accent sur ce qui implique l’enfance et le journalisme. Nous avons jugé importants de rappeler certaines règles. Les règles journalistiques destinées à protéger les droits de l’enfant. Elles ne sont pas toujours connues de la profession, elles sont pourtant universelles ; droit à l’image, au respect de la vie privée, entre autres ».

Mr. Raoul de Torcy, Deputy Representative of UNICEF, stressed that the “guide focuses on what involves childhood and journalism. We thought it was important to recall certain rules. Journalistic rules designed to protect the rights of the child. They are not always known to the profession, yet they are universal; right to the image, the respect of the private life, among others “.

The Deputy Representative of UNICEF further stated that UNICEF wants to engage in a frank and constructive dialogue to place the rights of children in various sectors of society, including in the press and in the field of culture. The goal is to use all possible channels for the promotion of the rights of the child, including the press and art. “We want to create a synergy around the defense of children’s rights by mobilizing all the players in society. The defense of the rights of the child concerns everyone, “he said.

At the end of the ceremony, the renowned Haitian artist Jean Jean Roosevelt presented the album “Jean Jean des petits: Let’s train the citizens of tomorrow”. This album was made with the collaboration of UNICEF, the songs promote the respect of children’s rights.

Strengthen cooperation in the fight against child domestic work

A presentation session at the meeting at UNICEF’s local

The main partners involved in the fight against child domestic work, redoubled efforts, alongside the Haitian government, to reduce the incidence of this phenomenon on children for their full development. To make the fight more effective, many initiatives are being taken, including the project to combat child domestic labor. The Joint Steering Committee for this project is part of these coordination mechanisms. Canadian Cooperation and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) co-chair this structure, whose members come from international organizations such as UNICEF, the International Labor Organization (ILO), IOM and government agencies.

Port-au-Prince, March 29, 2018 – The members of the Joint Steering Committee met in the conference room of UNICEF to take stock of the progress of the project ” Fight against child domestic work in Haiti ”, discuss challenges and next steps in the implementation of the project.

Stéphanie Auguste, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, emphasized the importance the Haitian Government attaches to the fight against child labor in view of its dramatic consequences. “The disastrous consequences of the worst forms of child labor are well established. They have irreversible effects on their health, education, and psycho-emotional development that are their most basic rights, “she said.

Later, the Minister stressed the need to develop synergistic actions against child domestic work “We must therefore without delay clear the ways and means to undertake actions that must be historic and do not wait,” she added. She also praised the cooperation in this area between the Haitian government, Canada, and the United Nations, particularly UNICEF.

Successful cooperation

Minister Stéphanie Auguste in a presentation, UNICEF Representative on the Right and Canada’s Head of Cooperation on the Left

Carlos Rojas-Arbulu, Head of Cooperation at the Canadian Embassy, addressed the efforts of the Haitian government, which has ratified several international conventions on human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also thanked UNICEF and its partners for their efforts to achieve progress in the implementation of the project against child domestic labor, through the results presented in the first annual report.

Finally, he encouraged UNICEF and partners to strengthen the gender equality strategy and coordination mechanism by welcoming the leadership of the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor.

Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, recalled “the continued commitment of the Government of Haiti to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child”, emphasizing the leadership of the MAST in the sector.

He further recalled some important results since the beginning of the implementation of the project in April 2017 among which: the triggering of the dynamics to support the revision of the Labor Code and the way towards the adoption of the other legal texts such as the Child Protection Code and the list of hazardous work; the identification and care of 336 child domestic workers, 60% of whom are girls; identifying and supporting 2,357 families at risk of family separation to prevent child labor; identifying and supporting 1,215 children at risk or victims of violence, including GBV, 765 of whom are currently in school.

Figures that challenge

This project is taking place in three departments, including the South, Grand’Anse and the West, following the study on placement and child domestic work carried out in 2014. Per this study conducted by the Haitian Government with the UNICEF support and 28 national and international NGOs, the following situation was revealed:

  • 25% of Haitian children aged 5 to 17 live apart from their biological parents;
  • More than 400,000 children, of which 52% of girls are involved in domestic work;
  • 207,000 children aged 5 to 14 are in unacceptable forms of domestic work;
  • About 60% of children in unacceptable working conditions are girls who are mainly employed in urban areas;
  • High socio-economic precariousness of households explains this practice in most cases.

The joint steering committee reminds us of the need to reinforce synergies between actors to provide a multisectoral response to the problem of insecurity that leads to the exploitation of children through the worst forms of work. The Minister insists for:

  • a great mobilization of the actors at the level of the other Ministries and NGOs concerned in all the stages of the project.
  • The development of advocacy action in parliament for the adoption of ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and the Child Protection Code Act, and the revision of the Labor Code;
  • The establishment of a Child Protection Cluster that will bring together the actors at the strategic level regarding child protection.

With such a commitment to the summit and such a mobilization of development actors, hope is allowed when reducing exposure to domestic work for girls and boys in Haiti.

Editorial of Marc Vincent, UNICEF Haiti Representative

Young children, waiting outside, during an inauguration of a school

The 2017 is about to come to an end, it has been a year rich in intervention for UNICEF Haiti. We have supported the actions of the Government of Haiti and reinforcing its capacities in the areas that have been linked to survival and development of the children. Our actions are guided by our mandate which is the wellbeing of all the children.

It is the principle of equity that guides us to allow the most vulnerable children and families and those living in the most remote places to benefit from a life-saving humanitarian intervention. UNICEF has been on all fronts this year 2017.

Among other actions:

-The certification of foster families is part of one of the alternatives to placement of children in institutions. We also proceeded to the Certification of ” Schools Friend of Hygiene” with partners. Children will be able to evolve in a healthier environment.

– UNICEF has also contributed to strengthening the health system by providing technical support to the MSPP and developing community health systems by training community health workers and strengthening the network of health workers. These agents will help save lives.

– From January to September, more than 32,000 children aged 6 to 24 months and 22,000 pregnant and lactating women received several micronutrients to improve their diet and fight iron deficiency anemia.

In addition, we continued with our interventions in the departments affected by Matthew:

  • UNICEF enabled access to safe water to more than 640,000 people since the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
  • 120 schools damaged by Hurricane Matthew have been rehabilitated, which facilitated the return to class for over 30,000 students. More than 10,000 items of school furniture were provided in 139 schools, and 27,000 children received psychosocial support.
  • In 2017, a total of 10,628 children under five with severe acute malnutrition and 7,381 children with moderate acute malnutrition were treated. More than 32,000 children 6-24 months of age, and 22,725 pregnant and lactating women received micronutrients.

Due to climate change, cyclones are becoming more and more devastating. Strengthening awareness of risk and disaster management is a priority. We held consultations with young people in the South and Grand’Anse, the two departments most affected by Hurricane Matthew. Awareness also goes through our youth and adolescents.

2017 is leaving and 2018 is already knocking on the door. There will be new challenges, because the important thing is to capitalize on the good results recorded but also to correct those who deserve to be. Nevertheless, the goals will remain the same, creating an environment that allows Haitian children to develop their full potential.

We must strengthen the fight against cholera, victory is at hand, we can eliminate cholera.

I send a special greeting to all the children of Haiti, to our partners, and I wish you all a happy holiday.

 

Marc Vincent

Representative

Training Workshop on Education and Eradication of Child Labor

 

The participants at the training

“Education 2030 and the eradication of child labor”. This was the theme of the workshop organized at the International Training Center of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Turin (Italy) from 06 to 10 November 2017.

The workshop brought together representatives from Burkina Faso, Comoros, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Switzerland and Haiti, including the Director General of the Ministry of Education. One of the objectives was to enable participants to: develop a better understanding of the links between the achievement of the 2030 Education Goal and the elimination of child labor; identify different strategies to combat vulnerability to child labor and exclusion of children from education; reflect on the roles that stakeholders can play in achieving education by 2030 and eliminating child labor by 2025.

Per ILO estimates, about 218 019 000 children are working around the world; 151,622,000 of these children are between the ages of 6 and 14, and 75,525,000 children are performing hazardous work for their health, physical, social or mental development. Dangerous work refers to activities that jeopardize the education of children, activities that affect them in any schooling.

This workshop also allowed participants to review key international frameworks related to education and the issue of child labor. Special attention was paid to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the various ILO Conventions on the minimum age for employment, and the worst forms of child labor, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically Goal 4, which promotes equitable and quality inclusive education.

The eradication of child labor; an obligation

a training session

The participants in this workshop concluded that education and the eradication of child labor cannot be the exclusive business of the Ministries of Education of the countries.

The Director General of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP), Dr. Meniol Jeune, expressed his appreciation of the participatory approach used by the facilitators and the quality of the exchanges between the participants. It intends to work to sensitize the educational actors on this theme and to promote the eradication of child labor.

Representatives of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) at this training, Peterson Cadet and Marckens Saint-Louis, propose to work on the definition of a training plan for the “protection peers” through sessions of restitution of the fundamental axes of the process of eradication of child labor.

Geslet Bordes, Child Protection Officer at UNICEF Haiti, expressed its satisfaction for the main tools already available on this theme. The knowledge gained during this workshop will be used to operationalize the action plan that will be prepared with the effective participation of MENFP and IBESR.

For quality, inclusive education in Haiti by 2030, let’s all say: “No to child labor, and yes to children in classrooms!”

The day of the child celebrated with great fanfare in Haiti

UNICEF Representative giving a certificate to a parent

Port-au-Prince, November 21, 2017 – The highest authorities in the country were present  to celebrate the Children’s Day, the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in Haiti. UNICEF, the Haitian government and local and international organizations have renewed the promise of creating a protective environment for the well-being of Haiti’s children.

The First lady holding a child

For this November 20th, the national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child). The main activity of the day was the presentation of the certificate of accreditation for 76 host families. (49 will be newly accredited, and 27 will be renewed).

Among the personalities present, the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Martine Moïse; the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Mrs. Stéphanie Auguste; the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Régine Lamur; the Director of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin; UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Mr. Marc Vincent and Terre des Hommes representative / Lausanne, Mrs. Iceland Georges Cadet. We must also talk about the presence of children and key players in child protection in Haiti.

The anniversary of the CRC

“At UNICEF, this November 20th is also the most important day for the entire organization. For it celebrates the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We hope that this day will not only be a celebration, but that it will touch hearts and consciences with the goal of changing the situation of vulnerable children across the country, “said Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.

He further congratulated the families participating in this program. “Today, UNICEF and its partners are committed to following up on these new accredited families, defending the process of ‘’de-institutionalization’’, and hope that more children in institutions, or children who are victims of other vulnerabilities are placed in a warm home, “he continued.

A young IBESR ambassador, Habrana Brizard, insisted on respecting all children’s rights without exception. “I’m not too young to learn that the challenges are big. However, I learned that life is a struggle, so fighting for what is good is an obligation, “she told the audience.

Identification of children, a crucial step

In her speech, Mrs. Martine Moïse, said that the accreditation of these host families is part of a significant advance. She took the opportunity to congratulate these families “who have agreed to give their time, their comforting presence, their love to participate validly in the integral and harmonious evolution of the children who need it”.

The First Lady thus recalled the importance of identifying children at birth, particularly through the ” konte m, mwen konte ” initiative in hospitals. “It decreases the risk of being trafficked and other forms of exploitation. Pyès ti moun pa dwe pitimi san gado (no child should be raised alone), “she said, pointing out that the President of the Republic, his Excellency, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, has the ambition that all children have a number and that they will be raised in a family as this will make family safety and child protection programs more effective.

Celebration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Put the respect of children’s rights as a priority

 

The main partners in child Protection were present

Port-au-Prince, November 20, 2017- On the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, celebrated this Monday around the world, UNICEF reiterates its wish to see every child in a family. Thus, UNICEF supports the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) for the realization of the week of childhood. The national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child).

As is the case each year, UNICEF’s goal this week is to focus on the right of every child to physical, mental and emotional well-being. The organization calls for putting the respect of children’s rights at the center of public attention.

With a focus on the vital role families play in child development, UNICEF has been working together with IBESR and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) on Monday, 20 November, as well as others. partners, to certify 76 host families. The first Lady, Mrs. Martine Moïse, attended the ceremony.

“UNICEF supports all efforts to reduce the number of children placed in institutions. The place of a child is in the family, biological or host. This allows the kid to develop his full potential. “Says Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti. “UNICEF supports the Haitian government for the well-being of all children in Haiti.”

In the same vein, on 21 November, was held the certification ceremony of ‘Friendly Schools of Hygiene’ in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Public Health and Population as well as other partners. Good hygiene conditions within the school are an important contribution to children’s learning. Of the 17 schools certified in the departments of the Center and Artibonite, 13 are supported by UNICEF.

Yes, to Participation

Beyond the actions dedicated to protection, survival and education, UNICEF will undertake a series of activities during the week of November 20th to promote the voice of children and adolescents. Participation being the fourth pillar of the CRC the goal is to communicate with, for and through children. Children’s voices will be shared through social media, WhatsApp and the UNICEF Blog.

No to violence

Throughout the week of November 20, short opinion videos on everyday violence, “voxpops,” will be shared on WhatsApp and social media as UNICEF works for “One Family Without Violence for Every Child.” In the same logic is planned a workshop on violence and resilience which will be followed by a graduation to the first group of stakeholders trained in emotional intelligence and personal leadership.

A series of musical pieces for children, composed and performed by the renowned Haitian artist Jean-Jean Roosevelt, will be launched online as well as the music video ‘Pou chak timoun’ (For each child). Come follow us live on http://timounyo.com/

CRC an important text for the rights of the child

In 54 articles and two Optional Protocols, the Convention sets out the fundamental rights of all children in the world: the right to survival; the right to develop as far as possible; the right to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The four basic principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; the priority given to the best interests of the child; the right to live, to survive and to develop; and respect for the views of the child. All rights recognized in the Convention are inherent in the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects the rights of children by setting standards for health care, education and legal, civil and social services.

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Using ‘’ Facts for life” through popular songs

A choregraphy with ”Facts for life ” themes

On Saturday, October 14th, in the margins of the celebration of the “Global Handwashing Day”, the Gymnasium Vincent (Port-au-Prince) was celebrating an important event for the good of the children: the launch of an album songs inspired by the manual “Facts for life” (“Konesans pou sove lavi”).

Taking into account the playful aspect of singing, its capacity to gather and to raise people’s awareness, beyond differences, this medium has been privileged to convey essential family practices to a large number of people.

Nearly 200 children from the “Orchid” group sang, danced and mimed the key messages contained in the 14 chapters of the document “Konesans pou sove lavi” through the festival called “A la bèl bagay se lasante” (Health is a beautiful thing).

The show was divided into two parts:

-That of singing on the rights of the child has seen nearly fifty children from several schools in the square and who shone one by one the rights of the child by turning in a circle.

– the second part featured a group of children dressed in peasant dress and carrying various provisions on their heads while dancing to the rhythm of the song on nutrition “Three kind of eats”. The room vibrated to the rhythm of the choreography of the tube music from the album “ala bel bagay se lasante” performed by children wearing different style outfits.

However, in the opinion of all, the performances were some more magnificent than the others and the actors outdid themselves to offer a colorful show that raised a collective enthusiasm communicative.

It should be noted that the idea of preparing an album of songs is part of a global strategy to promote essential family practices for the promotion of health and child development. These songs will be used primarily in the health clubs that are an integral part of this strategy and during the realization of various awareness activities.

In general, this album of songs is intended to be an important contribution to the Haitian community in its quest to have healthy Haitian children. It was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Population to ensure that the messages on health and child development it contains are culturally accessible to all segments of the population. Note that the album was produced by the group “Hi” thanks to financial support from UNICEF in the framework of a partnership with the Institute Preventive Health, Environmental, and Community (SPEC).