Gerald Connor, Director (Ag) in the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services.

Naren Maynard, Supervisor for Child Probation in the Department of Child Probation and Protection Services.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — St. Kitts and Nevis is commemorating two international observances that highlight the need to protect and raise children in a safe environment.

November 19 is the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse, while November 20, is World Children’s Day.

According to www.apa.org the World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse was launched in 2000 by the Women’s World Summit Foundation. The website www.un.org, notes that the World Children’s Day observance was first celebrated on November 20, 1954, as Universal Children’s Day. Five years later in 1959, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child on November 20. The day also marked the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.

Staff from the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services highlights the need to safeguard the well-being of children.

Gerald Connor, Acting Director of the Department of Probation and Child Protection Services said that St. Kitts and Nevis was the first Organization Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member state to sign the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. He said that the country’s record on child welfare is commendable.

“We have led the way in the charge when it comes to protecting children, putting frameworks and facilities in place … as we go about doing what we have to do in the department,” said Connor.

Naren Maynard, Supervisor for Probation, highlighted that children do have rights too, as enshrined in the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The convention features 54 Articles including the right to life; freedom of expression; education; freedom of association; protection of the law and others.

“It is very important for us to teach our children these rights,” said Maynard. “We want parents to be mindful that children have rights; they are humans just like adults, and we need to know and respect these rights.”

The Convention on the Rights of the Child can be accessed at www.unicef.org/child-rights-convention.