INVEST IN CHILDREN: Way to realising Uganda’s 2040 vision.
Imagine a Uganda where the great idea that a child is to the community and not to an individual alone is actually practical, and not just a theory.
Well, that is the kind of reality that UNICEF in partnership with save the children Uganda is trying to create, starting with forming a favorable environment where the business sector can ably support the children.
This awareness campaign about protection of children and their rights has been ongoing for some time now, and the climax was on 15th September, 2014 when the Children Rights and Business Principles were launched at Kampala Serena Hotel.
Children Rights and Business principles is a set of ten principles that the United Nations came up with to guide the business sector in playing it’s role in the protection of children. Save the children was honored to be an active part of the efforts that birthed the following guide lines;
1. All businesses should meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights and commit to supporting the human rights of children.
2. All businesses should commit to elimination of child labor, including in all business activities and business relationships.
3. All businesses should provide decent work for young workers, parents and care givers.
4. All businesses should ensure the protection and safety of children in all business activities and facilities.
5. All businesses should ensure that products and services are safe, and seek to support children’s rights through them.
6. All businesses should use marketing and advertising that respect and support children’s rights.
7. All businesses should respect and support children’s rights in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use.
8. All businesses should respect and support children’s rights in security arrangements.
9. All businesses should protect children affected by emergencies.
10. Al businesses should reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfill children’s rights.
The above are to be followed by the business community in their involvement in the protection and support of children and their rights. This is because children are undeniably an important part of business as both direct and indirect consumers.
The launch of the Children Rights and Business Principles was graced by a number of dignitaries from Members of Parliament to Journalists and entertainment icons in the country like Ken Kimuli, popularly known as Pablo. Different child organizations and young people platforms such as U-Report were also present and active at the launch. All these emphasized different aspects that geared toward protection and priotization of children rights.
Hon. Akorooro Okurut emphasized the need for children to be children saying that boys should be boys not labourers and that girls should be girls not mothers. This is because the state of a nation’s children reflects on that nation’s priorities.
Amongst the different messages, calls for coperation and unity, the one thing that stood out was the need to invest in children in order for Uganda to realize its 2040 vision.
As the saying goes, ‘children are the future of tomorrow,’ Uganda is evidently taking bold steps towards securing its future through investing in the country’s young generation.
Written by Watsemba Miriam.