UN mission calls on political parties in Haiti to focus on children's rights

2 August 2005

Launching a training course on child protection today, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) called on the political parties contesting the upcoming elections to put children at the centre of their plans, because too often, no one has taken responsibility for their rights, especially during conflicts.

"Children are the first victims in times of conflict," MINUSTAH's child protection expert, Andreas Brandswatter, said. It was therefore important to monitor their rights and strengthen the national capacity to enforce them by training those in charge of these areas, he said.

UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) representative Adriano Gonzalez-Regueral said the political parties had to become acquainted with the realities that Haitian children face and change their programmes into plans of action whereby they could grapple with sexual abuse, violence, exploitation and lack of education.

The parties had to do this work both during and after the elections, he added.

About 40 political parties were participating in the training course in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and the next sessions would take place on the 4, 16 and 18 August, MINUSTAH said.


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