Countries should cooperate on child rights: Tirath

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) There is need for cooperation between countries of the Asia-Pacific region for the protection of child rights, Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath said Wednesday.

The minister was inaugurating the second high-level meeting here on south-south cooperation for child rights in Asia and the Pacific.

"The improvement in the collection and use of data on disparities for making effective policies, developing practical measures for child-friendly disaster risk reduction, and strengthening child protection systems were some of the commitments made by the countries," Tirath said.

The first such meeting on cooperation for child rights among Asian countries was held in Beijing in 2010.

"The Beijing declaration of 2010, adopted in the first high-level meeting, laid down a number of commitments for the realisation of child rights," the minister said.

She pointed out that the purpose of the meeting was to assess the progress made in the realisation of child rights since the first meeting, and in ensuring support for the efforts of countries in protecting the rights of children by other countries in the region.

A total of 200 delegates from 33 countries, comprising 21 ministers and senior government officers from the Asia and Pacific Region are participating in the three-day conference which began here Wednesday.

Tirath said deliberations will focus on three key areas -- early childhood development, adolescents and urbanisation.

She also highlighted some of the programmes and initiatives taken up by the Indian government in the field of child rights.

Anthony Lake, Executive Director UNICEF, said that by 2030, two-thirds of the world's middle class will be found in the Asia-Pacific region.

He highlighted the needs of the growing population of children and adolescents in the region, especially those that come from marginalised communities, conflict zones, and those struck by natural calamities.

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