Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Prioritizes CRC Strategy

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): November 2, 2001 - On September 5 2001, FSM Health Education and Social Affairs (HESA) in co-ordination with the President's National Advisory Council on Children (PNACC) hosted and coordinated a meeting with UNICEF.

The purpose of the meeting was a forum of discussion between Government, Non-Government Organizations and UNICEF about issues concerning the well being of children in the Federated States of Micronesia and way in which UNICEF assistance should be utilized. The FSM/UNICEF program ends December 2002 and preparations are underway for a new five-year program.

FSM and UNICEF are involved in the immunization services, nutrition issues like promotion of breast-feeding, research and distribution of Vitamin A capsules. In the matter of technical assistance, FSM/UNICEF aims mainly in the field of training and awareness raising of child rights and monitoring implementation of the Convention On The Rights of the Child (CRC).

"UNICEF global priorities are; Girls Education, integrated Childhood Development, Immunization Plus, HIV & AIDS, and Improved Protection for the Children". So said Mr. Van Dijk.

Priorities set forth by FSM at that particular strategy meeting addressed the goals prioritized at the UNICEF/FSM Mid-Term Review meeting held in 1999 which include; Child and Women's Health, Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, Basic Education, and Child Protection.

The committee or group under Child Protection came up with these key issues: 1). Developing and enforcing child labor laws and policies to address the Economic globalization effects on children and, out-migration issues. 2). Translation of the CRC and related CRC literature in local languages. 3). Promotion of the CRC through Multimedia, Communications and other of such capacity, and 4). Evaluating child neglect and abuse. Where it was recommended that a team work to assess and define the problem, and create strategies to decrease child abuse and neglect.

About thirty Government officials, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Child Support Organizations (CSO) representatives participated in the meeting. Presented were FSM's first lady, Ms. Iris Falcam, Secretary of HESA Dr. Eliuel Pretrick, and many high level Government officials from both the National and State level.

"The meeting resulted in a well thought over list of issues that, according to the participants, should be addressed in the future FSM/UNICEF program. UNICEF will take the points under consideration and will, subject to availability of resources, incorporate them in it's future program for submission and approval by UNICEF Head Quarters." Said the UNICEF FSM Coordinator Ms. Elizabeth Yossem-Guy.

In other related issues

UNICEF and the FSM President's National Advisory Council on Children (PNCC) conducted the Workshop on The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) from August 28, 2001 to August 30, 200. There were more than thirty participants at the FSM Capital in Pohnpei.

The workshop aimed to further educate FSM National officials about the CRC and it's 54 articles. UNICEF child right's advocates from both Australia and Fiji were present to impart information and educate participants on the global child rights issues affecting the FSM and the region.

Participants learned about the situation of children in the FSM from the Secretary of HESA, Dr. Pretrick and the action being taken by the PNACC to protect children. MS. MJ Mace of the FSM Attorney General office facilitated a review of local laws affecting children in the FSM and discussions about the influence of traditional values on children.

A more in depth knowledge of the 1924 Declaration on the Rights of Children in Geneva, and updates on its development were shared. Children the most vulnerable group in the world, need special protection. The CRC is designed as a guide for country's to develop policies and programs to protect chilodren. It has 54 articles that explain, in general, how children need to be protected.

Selected Children's Rights under the CRC are:

The right to

  • Relevant and quality education
  • Play
  • Excellent health
  • Access to appropriate information
  • Know and practice one's culture and religion.

State Action Plans were also proposed and participants from each state returned to their respective states with the intention to adapt the plans developed in the workshop.

Public awareness and training on the CRC seems to be the aim of all the FSM States in promotion of the CRC. The PNACC and the UNICEF are in the process of developing further CRC trainings in each State. The goal is to strengthen State level Children's Coordinating Bodies and develop supportive policies and programs for child protection.

Speakers from various service providers, organizations, and agencies directly and indirectly involved with children shared their concern over the matter and identified their roles in the education of the CRC to the General Public.

In 1993, the CRC became the first International Human Rights treaty ratified by the FSM, four years ratified the CRC in 1993. Four years after the UN General Assembly adopted the Treaty in 1989, November 20. adopted by the FSM Government.

CRC History. (A chronology)

1924 - Declaration of Geneva on the Rights of the Child.

1959 - UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child.

1979 - International Year of the Child established.

1988 - First draft of working groups

1989 - CRC adopted by UN General Assembly. November 20, 1989.

1990 - January 26, opened for signature.
61+ countries signed on first day
September 2, entered into force (Speedy)
Covers full range of civil, economic, social and cultural rights

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356