World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Urges Respect For Afghan Children’s Rights

UN agencies urge respect for Afghan children’s rights to life and education

18 September 2008 – United Nations agencies working in Afghanistan have urged all parties in the strife-torn nation to respect the right of children to life and education, including by allowing safe access for vaccinators and ensuring that students, teachers and schools are free from violence.

Today’s call comes just days after a suicide bombing in the south-eastern town of Spin Boldak killed a driver for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). and two doctors working with the World Health Organization (WHO) on a polio vaccination programme.

So far this year 18 cases of polio have been reported in Afghanistan – one of four remaining countries in the world where the disease is endemic. Of those, 16 cases were reported in the south and two in the east, both areas where insecurity has hindered access for vaccinators.

“Continued insecurity has greatly challenged our vaccination efforts,” Tahir Mir, who works with WHO’s Polio Eradication Initiative, told a news conference in Kabul today.

Dr. Mir added that last weekend’s killing will not prevent UN agencies and the Afghan Ministry of Health from continuing its efforts, and urged all actors to allow immunizations to take place next week from 21 to 23 September, to coincide with the annual observance of the International Day of Peace.

The goal is to vaccinate 1.8 million newborns and children under the age of five over the three-day period. “The polio eradication mission will continue… This is probably the best way to honour our colleagues,” he said.

The head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Afghanistan said she was confident that the country was close to eliminating the scourge. “If we have the days of tranquillity we are confident we can finish the job of eradication of polio in Afghanistan. It is within reach,” said Catherine Mbengue.

UNICEF and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are also urging that children, teachers, schools and literacy centres in Afghanistan be protected against all kinds of violence, she added.

UNESCO’s mission, together with other UN agencies and development partners, is to promote education as a fundamental human right and to improve the quality of education, according to the agency’s representative in Afghanistan.

“But today in Afghanistan education is at risk,” stated Shigeru Aoyagi, who noted that more than 230 students and teachers were killed and around 250 schools were attacked by militants during the past three years.

Both agencies stressed that the sanctity of schools must be respected, the lives of students and teachers must be protected, and the schools must not be used by any parties to the conflict for operations or political reasons.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC