H. E. Mr. Ahmed Saleem, Secretary-General of SAARC, addressed the Second High-level Meeting for South-South Cooperation on Child Rights in New Delhi on 25 October 2013.
Organized by the Ministry of Women & Child Development of the Government of India, the Meeting was inaugurated on 23 October 2013.
In his presentation at Session 5of the meeting devoted to the theme, Regional Perspectives and Partnerships, the Secretary-General highlighted the initiatives taken by SAARC in the area of child rights. Referring to the SAARC Social Charter, he stated, “The SAARC Social Charter, signed in January 2004, addresses the issue of promotion of the Rights and well-being of the Child, stating that the child should be entitled to grow and develop in health with due protection. The Charter advocates special services to be provided for the child and its mother. The Charter stresses to undertake specific steps to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality rates. Most importantly, the Charter highlights the need for education, literacy, and skill development amongst adolescents and youth, especially of girls, and elimination of child or early marriage in the region. The Charter extends its provisions to the children in conflict with law, street, orphaned, displaced, abandoned and children affected by armed conflict and affected by drug abuse as well.”
The Secretary-General further said, “The SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia and the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution are other important regional instruments. These instruments complement to the participatory rights of the child as a vital prerequisite for realization of human rights and for achievement of Millennium Development Goals and SAARC Development Goals.”
Mr. Ibrahim Zuhuree, Director, Social Affairs Division, SAARC Secretariat also attended the High-level Meeting in New Delhi.