UN encourages Surakarta to increase budget for child protection
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
The UN has encouraged the Surakarta administration to strengthen its commitment to protecting children by allocating more funds for children’s programs. Surakarta is one of five major cities included in the UN child-friendly city program.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, made the call during her visit to City Hall to meet with Surakarta Mayor FX Hadi “Rudy” Rudyatmo on Tuesday. A UNICEF delegation also took part in the visit.
Pais congratulated the Surakarta mayor for his efforts in putting violence prevention and child protection at the heart of the city’s agenda. She also applauded the improved coverage of birth registration in the city, which stood at 95.8 percent in 2016, up from 52.77 percent in 2014.
“I want to encourage [the Surakarta administration] to invest more to ensure birth registration for all children, pursuing a 100 percent coverage," Pais.
“I hope Surakarta will also be able to double its budgetary allocations for children protection, reaching more to disadvantaged and marginalized children.”
Pais hopes that Surakarta, one of areas partnering with UNICEF to improve child protection, will also create safe homes for children who have suffered abuse and violence, where they can be receive care without being stigmatized.
Rudy promised that his administration would continue its efforts to ensure prevention of violence against children, to establish more child-friendly public services, and ensure that all children, including the disabled and marginalized, received a proper education.
“I will make sure that the city secretary and the Surakarta Planning and Development Agency [Bappeda] take note that the budget [for child protection] should increase,” Rudy said. (ebf)
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