Seychelles represented at ombudsmen and mediators association convention in Rabat | 08 November 2019
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ‘Association des Ombudsmans et Médiateurs de la Francophonie’ (AOMF) and the Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie (APF) held a joint conference on October 23 and 24, 2019 in Rabat, Morocco on the theme ‘The Rights of the Child – A Priority for Parliamentarians and Mediators of la Francophonie’ under the sponsorship of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the Commission of Venice of the Council of Europe.
Ombudswoman Nichol Tirant-Gherardi represented Seychelles at this conference.
The conference followed from the success of the first joint conference which was held in Tunis in November 2017 on the theme ‘Parliamentarians and Mediators – Actors in Good Governance.’ The 2019 gathering brought together ombudsmen, mediators and parliamentarians from 21 African, North American and European countries over two days of workshops and discussion and ended with the Declaration of Rabat.
Mohammed Benalilou, mediator of the Kingdom of Morocco and current President of the AOMF, stressed that responsibility for protecting and promoting the rights of the child falls to all State actors and on society as a whole.
Respecting the best interests of the child, the fundamental principle of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, falls primarily on parliamentarians who are charged with drawing up the judicial rules that govern the condition of the child as well as on the ombudsmen and mediators who are called upon to ensure that these rules are effectively followed.
Mr Benalilou drew attention to the important role played by the ombudsmen and mediators in protecting and promoting the rights of children who are also effectively users of public services.
Jacques Krabal, parliamentary secretary general of the APF, presented a proposed model law relating to the compulsory, free and public registration of births as well as the judicial and legal recognition of children without identities.
He pointed out that there are approximately 250 million children under the age of 5 throughout the world living with no identity and that the APF has, in its strategic framework for 2019-2022, undertaken to make of the French-speaking countries the first part of the world with “zero children with no identities”.
Mr Krabal stressed that “the establishment of reliable and long-lasting civil status registers is the foundation of any state operating under the rule of law.”
Contributed by the Office of the Ombudswoman