In my statement, I would like to focus on the topics of education and violence against children.
Education empowers children and enables them to live their future lives with dignity, thus it is essential.
Government of Japan announced its “Learning Strategy for Peace and Growth” in 2015, setting particular focus on providing education for girls. To implement this strategy, we are working to improve the studying environment for girls by establishing girls’ dormitories and increasing the number of restrooms for girls in older school buildings. We will continue these and other efforts for high quality education for girls.
Gender inequality in education is another serious issue, especially in developing countries. In this connection, Japan has provided approximately 3.9 million US dollars to UNESCO’s “Fund for Asia Pacific Regional Cooperation on Education”, in order to support the improvement of education.
Unfortunately, continued violence against children around the world causes great harm and deprives children of an environment conducive to a healthy growth. Although SDG 16.2, which aims at ending violence against children, catches the attention of international society, challenges still remain. For example, many countries have difficulty in analyzing and caring the situation due to a lack of data collection.
At the High-Level Political Forum this July, my country introduced the measures to realize a diverse and inclusive society where no one is left behind. At the same forum, we announced our determination to steadily take measures to implement the SDGs, including specific actions to end child poverty and violence against children, and to enhance youth employment. In particular, Japan has committed to provide around 10 billion US dollars in assistance in the areas of education, healthcare, disaster risk reduction, and gender, with specific focuses on children and youth.
Furthermore, my country has recently taken various domestic measures to improve the environment surrounding children. Last June, the “Child Welfare Act” was revised to express that all children are entitled to enjoy the right to an education and are guaranteed independence, protection, and healthy development, in the spirit of the Convention of the Rights of the Child. It also explicitly guarantees children’s right of welfare, with the support of the government of Japan, local governments, the guardians of children, and all Japanese citizens.
The Government of Japan also amended its “Child Abuse Prevention Law” to prohibit parents to discipline their children in excess what is necessary to protect and educate them. In addition, the “Basic Plan on Measures against Child Sexual Exploitation” was released in April at the Ministerial Conference on Crime Prevention. Japan will spare no effort until the day we have no violence against children.
We are ready and willing to share our best practices with other Member States, the UN organizations, and civil societies. Together with partners, Japan will continue to promote and protect the rights of children all over the world.
I thank you.