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European Commission's agenda on child rights lacks ambition

Brussels, 15the February 2011 - Eurochild gives a cautious welcome to yesterday's Communication spelling out the "EU agenda for the rights of the child", but regrets its overall lack of ambition and substance. The Communication is the long-awaited follow-up to the Commission's 2006 commitment "to develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the European Union contributes to promoting and safeguarding children’s rights in all its internal and external actions and supports the efforts of the Member States in this field."[1] "The Agenda contains important elements", states Jana Hainsworth, Secretary General of Eurochild, "but it misses the chance to set an overarching vision...

Hopeful signs for UN action plans on child soldiers

NEW YORK, 10 February 2011 (IRIN) - The recent UN-negotiated action plan with the Afghanistan government - signed on 30 January and outlawing the use of child soldiers in armed forces - has not yet resulted in demobilization, but it has shifted the focus to the role state actors play in recruiting children. Relatively few governments in the world currently recruit and use children in their armed forces. The London-based Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (CSUCS) lists Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Somalia and Sudan among the “five real offenders”, according to CSUCS head of international programmes Lucia Withers. Prior to the Afghan action, Radhika Coomaraswam...

Zero hunger: the roadmap to success

4 February 2010 - A major new report from Action Against Hunger reveals why and how some countries have managed to reduce undernutrition, while others have not. Governments and international donors must put nutrition at the top of their political agenda to successfully reduce hunger, urges Action Against Hunger | ACF International. The humanitarian group’s latest report – Undernutrition: What Works – lays out how countries with the political will and a demonstrable commitment to the fight against hunger have successfully brought down undernutrition rates. The report examines policy and practice in five countries – Brazil, Peru, Mozambique, Malawi and Bangladesh - and argues that by...

MDGs: Make the most of the next five years

Johannesburg, 20 January 2011 - A decade after world leaders adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there is no consensus on what impact they have had on global poverty.The academics, policy-makers, civil society activists and development workers who gathered in Johannesburg on 16-19 January for a summit on global poverty agreed that the MDGs have made a difference, but have fallen far short of the ambitious targets on poverty, education, health, gender equality and global partnership that 189 countries committed to achieving by 2015.An estimated one billion people around the world regularly go to bed hungry and between 1.5 and two billion are thought to be living in poverty....

Fighting for Education

NAIROBI, 12 January 2011 (IRIN) - Sometimes the teachers make it to school but the children do not - when the fighting is too intense for them to venture outdoors. Sometimes teachers make it to school only to find it has been moved - to enable displaced children to continue learning. This is the nature of teaching in war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, considered one of the world's most dangerous cities. "I was on the way to school one day when intense fighting erupted and I had to seek shelter; by the time I got to school there were no students, they could not come because of the fighting," Abdulkadir Abdullahi, a primary-school teacher in Mogadishu, told IRIN. Abdullahi said even though...

Pakistan launches girls’ education initiative

Islamabad, Pakistan, 31 December 2010 - In a concerted effort to address gender disparities in education, Pakistan's Ministry of Education, with the support of the National Commission for Human Development, the UNGEI Secretariat, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development and UNICEF, launched the Pakistan Girls' Education Initiative (PGEI) on 9 December at the Pakistan National Council for Arts. The initiative, which grew out of consultations across the country, aims to address the critical issues of educating girls in a country where many are out of school. Man-made and natural disasters, including the wide-spread flooding in July have exacerbated the situation,with over...
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