03 Nov 2013 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 03 NOV (NAMPA) - The position of Children's Advocate was created on 01 November this year to deal with childrens issues.
A Director in the Office of the Ombudsman, Eileen Rakow made the announcement on Friday when she received a petition on behalf of Ombudsman John Walters from Windhoek's Junior Mayor Emma Theofelus.
The petition was signed by about 250 children, calling for action to speed up the tabling of the Child Care and Protection Bill.
Rakow said the Office of the Ombudsman share the sentiments of the children for the enactment of the Bill, adding that it is long overdue.
She said hopefully they will be able to fill the position as Childrens Advocate as soon as possible, and then children will have someone at very high level dealing with their concerns.
The Childrens Advocate will drive projects and processes regarding children's rights, while the maintenance system will also fall under the Office of the Childrens Advocate.
Other concerns which the Children's Advocate will deal with are grants, including disability grants, and the issuance of national documents to vulnerable children.
Rakow added that once a suitable person is identified and appointed, that person will be in touch with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) currently working with children.
The first Child Protection Bill was drafted in 1994 and revised several times since, but is yet to be tabled in Parliament for enactment.
The delay in tabling the bill was one of the issues raised during the first-ever National Childrens Forum which took place at the After School Centre of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare in Grysblok, Katutura.
The forum was arranged by the Katutura Youth Enterprise Center's (KAYEC) Youth Development Programme, and children from as far as Rundu, Ondangwa, Outjo, Otjiwarongo, Rehoboth, Kalkrand, Groot Aub, Okahandja and Windhoek took part.