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Home | December 2012 Please tell us what you think of this article. Tell a friend Print Friendly

St Helena : ST HELENA CHILDREN’S CHAMPION
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 22.12.2012 (Article Archived on 05.01.2013)

Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean has been nominated by Legislative Council and has accepted the role of Children’s Champion for St Helena.

ST HELENA CHILDREN’S CHAMPION


 


Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean has been nominated by Legislative Council and has accepted the role of Children’s Champion for St Helena.


 


Why do we need a Children’s Champion?


 


The Children’s Champion speaks for children who cannot speak for themselves and a politician has the scope to access the right audiences and influence decisions. Policies affect children because they shape the environment in which they live, work and play, and impact on their homes and families. The need for a Children’s Champion has been discussed in many forums – within Social Services, Education, the Police, the Safeguarding Children’s Board, the Judiciary, the Youth Parliament, New Horizons and others.


 


In the UK, Children’s Champions are very much at the centre in ensuring that children and their families are given due consideration in Government decisions. As unbelievable as it sounds, Britain has one of the worst rates of child poverty in the industrialised world - nearly 4 million children are considered to be living in poverty in the UK (after housing costs) and the main reason is poor distribution of funding. In St Helena, economic development must happen alongside of social development, and we must all endeavour to take measures to avoid increasing child poverty. In these times of austerity, when the Island is undergoing unprecedented change, it is crucial that decisions made are inclusive of the needs and wellbeing of children and their families. An influential political voice is therefore welcome, to ensure that SHG represents the best interests of children. Hence, Legislative Council was asked to nominate a member to become the Children’s Champion and Councillor Christine Scipio-O’Dean has accepted the responsibility.


 


What do we expect of the Children’s Champion?


 


The Children’s Champion should:


 


have an influential and leading voice in shaping Island changes to be inclusive of children and their families  be active in ensuring that children’s rights and entitlements are fulfilled in difficult political situations  be passionate about making a difference in the lives of children  be knowledgeable about protecting and safeguarding children  lobby other members of the Government to act together on behalf of children and children’s issues  have the time and commitment to dedicate themselves to this role.


 


Our children live in hope that they will be treated fairly and they rely on decision-makers to consider their needs properly and ensure that good services are delivered to them. The Children’s Champion will help make sure that this happens.


SHG


18 December 2012


 

 

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