Cay Hill — Today November 20, 2015 marks the celebration of the International Day of the Rights of the Child.
Many in society today believe that children have too many rights and that this is why they are going astray.
While St. Maarten has signed on to the Convention for the Rights of the Child and is striving to ensure that these rights are upheld. This in no way concludes that we allow our children to run wild and free. With rights come responsibility!
The main persons or entity of this responsibility lies with parents and the family!
So it is with great joy that I rejoin the Ministry of ECYS on a day like today where I can stress From this perspective how important it is to focus on our children, their rights to love and a loving family, education, health, safety, a name, a nationality and so much more.
Who must ensure they have these fundamental rights? Their parents, and by extension their families and Government also have a role to play in this and we strive to improve daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in raising the standards on our 37square miles of earth.
So I applaud the Department of Youth for focusing on this theme “Strong Families Nurture Strong Societies” for 2015… and I would implore all to maintain this focus on building strong families for the foreseeable future.
I congratulate the Youth Department, their colleagues at Family and Social Affairs as well all other stakeholders on both North and South SXM who yearly come together in true unity to organize a week or more of activities geared at educating our community and our youth on their rights as well as empowering our children and youth.
The child’s right to be heard will be exercised by many young voices today and in the weeks to come and I pray that as a government and society we find opportunities year round to afford our youth and children the opportunity to be heard and to take their voices into consideration in our laws, policies and programs.
Today is recognized as the International Day of the Rights of the child and I congratulate all parents and families who continuously build up and encourage their children to exercise these rights.
A strong child, supported by strong families will certainly nurture a strong and productive society. I implore all within the sound of my voice to Look within our nuclear and extended families and seek ways to strengthen each and every child in our society!!!!
When we teach them these values we prepare them to work, volunteer, care and lead for generations to come!!!
DO ENJOY the weekend of youth activities planned jointly by the relevant government departments and youth organizations of St. Martin!
Strong Children raised and loved by Strong Families , Nurture Strong Societies!!!!
In photo: Minister ECYS Silveria Jacobs giving her address at The Rights of the Child Commemoration Ceremony.