4th Ministerial SAARC meeting on protection of children from May 9


NEW DELHI, May 7:  India and seven other nations comprising the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) will evolve strategies and agree on commitments to ensure the protection and security of children of the region at a two-day meeting being held here from May 9.

The landmark meeting, being hosted by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, will be  preceded by a two-day technical consultation focusing on critical issues of child protection and violence  in the region.

Delegates from the governments and civil society organisations of Afghanistan, Bangladesh,  Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will assess progress and developments of the  past decade of regional effort and identify priorities for SAIEVAC for the next five years.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will deliver the keynote statement to the 4th Ministerial Meeting.  Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi will chair the meeting. Ministers  of the member countries are expected to participate and make statements to provide the high-level  regional leadership to set the course for SAIEVAC’s next period of regional action.

India will showcase some of its major initiatives like Trackchild and Khoya Paya, Childline-1098 and  POCSO Act among others.

SAIEVAC is the apex body of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)  created to bring governments of the region into active engagement for child protection against violence.

SAARC made history in 1986 by installing children as a ‘summit-level concern and commitment.’ The  coming 4th Ministerial Meeting marking 30 years since that SAARC summit commitment, will also be addressed by present SAARC Secretary General Arjun Bahadur Thapa is addressing the Ministerial  meeting.

The 4th Ministerial Meeting carries forward the collective inter governmental ownership of  SAIEVAC, which is reflected in its governing body composed of official members, representing  each of the eight governments.

The technical consultation on May 9 and 10 will bring forward recommendations on the Sustainable  Development Goals (SDGs) and on regional child protection opportunities emerging from country  experiences.

This will include India’s positive insights from its innovative measures for tracking and  rescuing lost and missing children. The technical will also examine the potential of using information  and communication technology for improving these measures. (UNI)


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