Minister: Children have the right to speak
Instead of the phrase ‘Children should be seen and not heard’, children should instead be allowed to express their thoughts and feelings.
Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Gender and Child Affairs, said children have a voice and have the right to speak.
“Part of putting our people first is ensuring that all children’s rights are respected, promoted and protected, while at the same time giving our children a platform for their voices to be heard and used in the decision-making process.”
“Children, you have a voice and you have the right to speak, inspire others, learn, grow and be the very best version of yourselves.”
“I encourage you, do not let anyone belittle your value because you are young,” Webster-Roy said in a statement commemorating World Children’s Day on November 20, 2018.
She added that taking steps to preserve the future of the country’s children is paramount.
“We must remember that with every step we take in securing our children’s future, the possibilities are endless, not only for our young ones but for the overall health and future of Trinidad and Tobago.”
“It is a spring which can bring life and longstanding benefits for our future,” she said.
The day, which is commemorated by UNICEF, celebrates the 2018 theme of ‘Turning the World Blue’ and serves to raise awareness of the issues affecting children.
The Child Rights Ambassadors Programme is being held for the second year and culminates at the Port of Spain City Hall where 45 students from 20 schools and two community residences across Trinidad and Tobago were designated ambassadors for children’s rights.
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