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IPHRC session to review rights of child in OIC states

Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold its thematic debate on The rights of the child on Tuesday, during its 13th ordinary session in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which began on Sunday, and concludes on April 19.

Experts from different relevant international and regional organizations, as well as representatives of OIC member and Observer States including their National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), will attend the thematic debate. IPHRC Chairperson and the OIC Secretary General will inaugurate the debate. The inauguration session will be followed by a formal discussion on different aspects of the theme.

The IPHRC, while giving the highest priority to the implementation of children’s rights, considers that a combination of political will, advocacy, and transformation of national laws and legal frameworks is the most effective way to ensure the applicability of the rights. That is why, the in-depth discussions of the session will address the comparative analysis of the universal human rights instruments related to children’s rights in relation to the OIC Convention on Human Rights in Islam and identify legal and linguistic inconsistencies, including perception gaps that, could be addressed to improve and update the OIC Convention.

Participants will discuss international initiatives, regional and OIC mechanisms related to the protection and promotion of the rights of the child; identify weaknesses and propose solutions accordingly. They will examine ways to strengthen the implementation of national legislation and action plans for the protection and welfare of children, in accordance with relevant international instruments already ratified by the OIC member states.

The OIC member states, despite development and security challenges, recognize the need to secure future generations by investing in the protection and promotion of the rights of the child. They collectively initiated the elaboration of the OIC Convention on the Rights of the Child in Islam, which made it possible to identify the issue of the rights of the child and to introduce this important aspect in the speech of the OIC on human rights. Since its adoption in 2005, Member States have held five ministerial conferences on children (Rabat, Khartoum, Tripoli, Baku, and Rabat).

Also, the international instruments, initiatives and mechanisms, the revised OIC Charter and its 2025 Agenda, give priority to the rights of the child. OIC member states continue to work with regional and international partners to fulfill their respective international commitments under the relevant international human rights instruments, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

OIC countries are characterized by possessing the youngest demographic distribution with over one-third of the population below age 15 (child population increased by 31 percent from 430 million in 1990 to 562 million in 2013). In general, however, the OIC Member States have not been able to benefit from this ‘demographic dividend’ due to lack of child-centric development in the social sectors of health and education. Resultantly, OIC countries accounted for 46 percent of the world’s total under-five deaths in 2013, i.e., every day 8000 under-five children died in OIC countries. These facts also imply that each year, in OIC countries, a significant ratio of children is deprived of their survival and developmental rights, which warrant a renewed commitment and concerted action to protect this vulnerable segment. Fortunately, the realization of children’s rights in the OIC member states is increasingly seen as part of the challenge of combating poverty, accelerating human development, and ensuring peace and security for all through child-centric legislative and administrative measures and national action plans.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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