Hong Kong – CE chairs 13th meeting of Commission on Children (with photo)

CE chairs 13th meeting of Commission on Children (with photo)

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     The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, chaired the 13th meeting of the Commission on Children today (May 19).



     A Commission on Children was established for the first time by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in fulfilment of the Chief Executive’s pledge in her Election Manifesto to consolidate the efforts made by relevant bureaux and departments and focus on addressing children’s issues as they grow up. Since June 2018, the Commission has been advising the Government in the formulation and implementation of various policies and programmes aiming at taking better care of children.



     Mrs Lam said, “While the Government has rolled out various initiatives in recent years, including strengthening the provision of child care services, expanding by phases the On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Service to 10 000 places in the next school year in order to achieve the objective of ‘zero waiting’ time, introducing the Funding Scheme for Children’s Well-being and Development to support worthwhile projects, transforming more than 170 public play spaces to enhance the outdoor play environment for children, developing a central databank on children in Hong Kong to enable the Government and other stakeholders to collect and share useful data on children, etc., more need to be done as illustrated in the two subjects addressed by the Commission at this meeting.”



     During the meeting, members were briefed on:



(1) A comprehensive review of residential child care and related services to be conducted by the Government in the light of the incident in Children’s Residential Home of the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children which had aroused major public concern: The review would cover three major areas, namely service regulation and monitoring, service planning and provision and service quality and staff training. Members supported the review and offered views on major aspects that it should cover. The Government would complete the review in September 2022 and report the outcome to the Commission; and

    

(2) The fifth Report of the Child Fatality Review Panel and the Government’s responses

(www.swd.gov.hk/storage/asset/section/2867/en/CFRP_Fifth_Report_(Eng).pdf): Members noted that the review covered the death of 259 children aged below 18, 100 of whom were due to non-natural causes. The report revealed that most of the children who died of non-natural causes lost their lives because of suicide, followed by accidents. Members commended the work of the Review Panel and offered advice on possible ways to expand the coverage of the review and improve the timeliness in making recommendations. Members also supported the early implementation of the various recommendations made by the Review Panel to prevent child and youth deaths.

       

     Referring to the proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child”, Mrs Lam said that protection of children should be the priority and obligation of not only the Government, but also all service providers, principals and teachers, and most importantly, parents.



     “To raise alertness and ensure that each party will do its best, I said in my 2021 Policy Address that we would take forward legislation on establishing a mandatory reporting mechanism of child abuse. The Labour and Welfare Bureau is aiming at introducing a Bill into the Legislative Council in the first half of 2023,” she added.



     Members noted the Government’s efforts to stabilise the epidemic while upholding the pro-child and pro-family principle. For cases where children were involved, the Government had been striving to ensure that each and every decision was made in the interests of the children and their families. Separation of children and parents during hospitalisation or quarantine should be avoided, and specific needs of the affected children should be fully taken into account.



     Mrs Lam said, “I express my sincere gratitude to the Commission for its dedication over the years and members’ initiative of presenting proposals on how to strengthen care for the child at this meeting. We will make sure that their views are conveyed to the next-term Chief Executive for consideration.”



     Members extended their heartfelt appreciation to the Chief Executive for her staunch support in the establishment of the Commission and the importance she attached to safeguarding the rights, interests and well-being of children.



     The chairperson of the Commission is the Chief Secretary for Administration. As the post of the Chief Secretary for Administration has been left vacant, the meeting today was chaired by the Chief Executive. 

Canada – Chair’s statement: Ministerial meeting on Haiti

Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, chaired an international ministerial meeting on Haiti, which included participation by the Prime Minister of Haiti, 19 partner countries and representatives from the United Nations and other regional and international organizations.

January 21, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, chaired an international ministerial meeting on Haiti, which included participation by the Prime Minister of Haiti, 19 partner countries and representatives from the United Nations and other regional and international organizations.

Discussions centred on the current situation in Haiti and the importance of strengthening international support and the coordination of international assistance with a view to ensuring effective and structured efforts over the long term. Issues addressed included the strengthening of public security, the promotion of an open and inclusive political dialogue, governance challenges and humanitarian and reconstruction needs. All international participants reaffirmed their solidarity with Haiti, the importance of promoting solutions developed by and for Haitians and the need for targeted assistance and collaborative mechanisms aimed at achieving sustainable outcomes for the benefit of the Haitian people.

In order to tackle insecurity, the partners agreed to strengthen their current and future support of the security sector, including the Haitian National Police, with a focus on respect for the rule of law, justice and human rights. 

The participants agreed that the search for a viable political solution must include a peaceful and constructive dialogue involving all stakeholders in Haitian society. The participants encouraged the Government of Haiti and representatives of civil society to work together toward such a solution. They agreed that without such an agreement, re-establishing security will remain a challenge, as will the holding of free and credible elections.

Finally, the participants agreed on the need to redouble efforts on humanitarian assistance and sustainable development, including the fight against COVID-19, and looked forward to participating in an upcoming donors’ conference, organized jointly by the Government of Haiti and the United Nations, on reconstruction efforts following the earthquake of August 14, 2021. 

Participants

Argentina
Bahamas
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
European Union
France
Germany
Haiti
Japan
Mexico
Panama
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Spain
United Kingdom
United States
United Nations
United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
United Nations Development Programme
Caribbean Community
Organization of American States
International Organization of La Francophonie
International Organization for Migration

PM chairs a meeting to review preparations for the Olympics

PM Narendra Modi reviewed India’s Olympics preparations on the occasion of 50 Days to Tokyo Olympics. A presentation was made by officials on various aspects of operational readiness for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. During the course of the review, Hon’ble PM was apprised about the various steps taken towards ensuring uninterrupted training for athletes amidst the pandemic, participation in international competitions to win Olympic quota, vaccination of athletes, and customised support being provided to them.

Officials reported that about the vaccination status of and support staff.Prime Minister directed that every qualified / probable athlete, support staff and officials travelling to the Tokyo Olympics must be vaccinated as soon as possible.

PM said that he would be connecting with our Olympics contingent through a video conference in July, to encourage them and wish them on behalf of all Indians. PM said that sports is at the heart of our national character and our youth are creating a strong and vibrant culture of sports. He said that the wishes of 135 crore Indians will be with our youngsters who are participating in the Olympics. PM added that for every young sportsperson shining on the global stage, a thousand more will be inspired to take up sports.

Officials said that special attention will also be given towards motivating athletes and boosting their morale of athletes while they participate in the Olympics. Therefore, regular video conferences will be organised with their parents and family members back in India, through the course of the competition.

PM was briefed that a total of 100 athletes have qualified for Tokyo Olympics across 11 sports disciplines and bout 25 more athletes are likely to qualify for Tokyo Olympics details of which will emerge by end of June 2021. While a total of 19 Indian athletes had participated at the last Paralympics in 2016 at Rio de Janeiro. 26 para athletes have qualified&16 more athletes are likely to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

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DS/AKJ

(Release ID: 1724074)
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