24 August 2014, Ulaanbaatar
We, the participants of the Third Asian Forum on the Rights of the Child, which was held in Ulaanbaatar on 23-24 August, 2014, and in line with the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the United Nations,
Building on the outcomes of the First Forum in Seoul in 2009 (key theme: the Actual Situation of and Challenges to the Rights of the Child in East Asia) and the Second Forum in Tokyo in 2011 (key theme: Creating ‘A World Fit for Children’),
Empathizing with and bearing in mind the suffering and sorrow of children who are still victimized and damaged by all forms of violence against children, particularly as result of a number of disasters and armed conflicts,
Drawing attention to a large number of Asian children who suffer from poverty, all forms of human trafficking, worst forms of child labor, economic exploitation, forced labour, drug abuse as well as other forms of violence against children including child abuse, corporal punishment and bullying,
Recalling that the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the League of Nations ninety years ago in 1924, stated that “mankind owes to the child the best it has to give”,
Reconfirming that the rights enshrined in the CRC, to which all the Asian states have become parties, must be ensured for all children in all settings with special emphasis placed on the four general principles of the CRC. Namely; non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life; survival and development and respect for the views of the child; and that all children must be respected as citizens and rights holders.
Reconfirming the importance of advancing the exchange of information and opinions as well as research on the rights of the child, including sharing data on pictures of children’s situations as well as information on legislation, policies, initiatives and practices concerning children,
Inviting other countries in Asia to join the Asia Forum on the Rights of the Child to work towards the creation of child-friendly Asian countries,
Determined to pursue the effective realization of the CRC in each state and in the whole region of Asia by promoting collaboration among researchers and experts as well as governments, international organizations, academics, NGOs/civil society and other actors with the principles of the CRC as the common ideal,
Encouraging all stakeholders to facilitate and assist children in expressing their views on all matters affecting them, including by organizing themselves for this purpose, and to create structures and mechanisms for children to participate in the formulation and implementation of laws, policies, programs and other measures concerning them,
Have agreed to promote the following initiatives for the development of “child-friendly societies in Asia”, which is the key theme of the Third Forum in Ulaanbaatar,
- To urge all State Parties in Asia, which have acceded to the CRC, should take initiatives to adapt and pass laws fulfilling children’s rights and giving them legal status.
- To implement policies based on the purposes and provisions of the CRC and its Optional Protocols, especially during disasters and armed conflict, which frequently occur, including during recovery and reconstruction efforts; in particular, to listen carefully to children and create mechanisms which make children partners in recovery and reconstruction processes.
- To accelerate the development and implementation of policies, legislation, awareness-raising activities and other measures for the prevention and prohibition of all forms of violence against children, including child abuse, corporal punishment and bullying; through these initiatives, to develop comprehensive plans and codes of conduct for the prevention and prohibition of all forms of violence against children.
- To prohibit the worst forms of child labour and to provide children engaged in the worst forms of child labour and their families with viable alternatives, while taking all measures to ensure the right to education and secure children’s growth and development. The viable alternatives must be decided after consultation with children and their families who will benefit from the policies. Children and families should take part in monitoring and evaluating the programmes designed for them.
- In order to ensure that children’s lives are protected and that they can grow up and develop in a safe and secure environment, to conduct review from children’s rights perspectives of the relevant policies formulated by adults from adults perspectives, with a view to restructuring such policies.
- To provide comprehensive and continuous support for children as well as their parents and families; and to promote a diversity of support policies, including the improvement of conditions of day-care workers, teachers and other supporters who work with children, with a view of protecting their rights so that they can provide appropriate support for children.
- To develop mechanisms and systems for advancing the protection, promotion and monitoring of children’s rights in a multifaceted way at local, national and regional levels and to promote networking for the effective functioning of these mechanisms and systems; in particular, to develop specific mechanisms, urgently and effectively which children can easily access in order to be given effective remedies.
- To promote the ratification of or accession to the three Optional Protocols to the CRC, with a view to ensure the effective implementation of the CRC.
- To work towards the creation of “child-friendly Asian societies” on the basis of the national initiatives for “child-friendly cities/communities”, via the collaboration of governments, UNICEF and other international organizations, academics, NGOs/civil society and other stakeholders; as well as taking into account the opinions of children in the region.