Solomon Islands 29 September 2023 –The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs in partnership with UNICEF has launched the newly revised Solomon Islands National Children’s Policy 2023-2028 which sets out the Government agenda and priorities for children to ensure that the rights of the child are at the centre of development now and in future.
The vision of the Policy “is for every child to experience love, care, health, wellbeing and given equal opportunities to enjoy life in all its fullness for a better Solomon Islands,”
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs Dr Cedrick Alependava when launching the document on Thursday 28th in Honiara said that the policy exemplifies the hopes of the Government to ensure that Solomon Islands is a nation “that promotes, protects, respects and fulfils the rights of children equally and educates them to become responsible citizens”.
“This policy is asking the Government, all stakeholders, Development partners, UN Agencies, NGOs, Faith Based Organisations or Churches (SICA & SIPGA), communities, and families throughout our beloved country to put our commitments in ensuring Solomon Islands is a nation that – “promotes, protects, respects and fulfils the rights of children equally and educates our Children to become responsible citizens in future”.
“As duty bearers we must ensure all children survive, supported and given the opportunity to develop to their full potential,” PS Alependava added.
He says this is critical as children comprise of more than 40 per cent of the national population and putting the rights of children at the core of development thinking will determine the success of the country in future.
“We must ensure that our children survive and are given the opportunity to develop to their full potential, safeguard them against violence and abuse, and encourage them to participate in decision making and other important activities in their communities,” PS Alependava added.
The policy has six policy priority areas – priority area one focuses on child health, physical growth and wellbeing to ensure all children in the Solomon Islands enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and wellbeing through quality, child-friendly and inclusive information, services and support.
Its second priority area focuses on ways to support children to achieve their full potential in all areas of learning, education and development and thirdly, the policy looks at ways to provide safe and protected environments for children, away from physical stress, emotional stress and harm.
The fourth area is concerned with the need to facilitate and enhance socio-economic and political measures and/or opportunities for children to contribute meaningfully in decision-making and other important activities in society.
The fifth priority area is the need for a holistic approach to planning, research and capacity building in the MWYCFA particularly in the Children is Development Division to ensure that the team working on children’s issues are well informed and properly trained to carry out the duties expected of them and as planned.
The sixth area highlights the critical role that proper implementation, coordination, monitoring and review play in realizing the vision of the Policy and its Implementation Plan.
According to UNICEF Pacific Representative Jonathan Veitch these priority areas reflect a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to addressing the needs and well-being of children in the Solomon Islands, covering a wide range of aspects to support their growth and development.
“Empowering Solomon Islands’ children means nurturing their health, unlocking their potential, and safeguarding their futures. Through collaboration and commitment, we ensure that every child has a voice, every opportunity is maximized, and every step is taken to realize their dreams,” he said.
UNICEF provided technical and financial support towards review and development of NCP 2023-2028.
The costed action plan and M&E framework will also contribute towards enhancing government efforts on planning, budgeting, implementation and monitoring progress on child sensitive plans and policies at national and sub-national level.
The newly launched Policy is the second revised policy from the previous Children’s Policy 2010 to 2015 and is adhered to national policies and Legislations and International commitments.
The Ministry of Women, Youth, Children & Family Affairs (MWYCFA) is committed to upholding, promoting, protecting and fulfilling the rights of women, youths, children and families. This is achieved through effective partnerships, inclusiveness, fairness and creating equal opportunities to advance the wellbeing of the Solomon Island people.