The national Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum was held in Beijing from 26 to 29 July 2007. This forum was held by the All-China Women’s Federation, with the assistance of four organisations: the International Labour Organisation, UNICEF, UNIAP and Save the Children UK. The child representatives attending the forum come from grass-roots villages, towns and counties in Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guangxi, Xinjiang, these nine provinces (and autonomous regions). 38 of these official representatives were elected at children’s forums which took place in each province, two children who attended the first Mekong Sub-Region’s Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum in 2004, will be special representatives.
The national Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum adopted children’s methods, they told stories, discussed in small groups, painted, danced and performed other similar kinds of shows. They discussed and exchanged their ideas and opinions on gender equality, preventing trafficking, the protection of children and other social issues which are closely related to their rights and interests. They stated the risks of trafficking which they face, analyze the causes and results which trafficking produces, and state their ideas and suggestions for solving these problems.
During the forum, the leaders of the government and related departments discussed with the children (Senior Officials Discussion), how to prevent trafficking. The government departments were invited to sit face-to-face and listen to the children’s ideas on trafficking issues, and to understand the children’s suggestions on how to solve this problem. The government and the whole society will be urged to pay more attention and attach more importance to children’s rights to subsistence, the right to develop, the right to participate and the right to protection.
During the forum, children were elected to attend the Mekong Sub-Region’s Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum. This forum will embody the modern view on children: children should be respected, believed and served, they should also have equal opportunities to communicate. Through the forum, the ability of children to participate equally in social affairs will be improved; the consciousness of children about safeguarding their own rights will be increased; the whole of society will be encouraged to pay more attention to issues of child trafficking in order to protect the healthy development of children and provide them with a good environment.
Before the national Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum is convened, nine provinces (and regions) will separately convene their own provincial (or regional) level children’s forum.
From 12th to 14th December, the second Inter-Ministerial Meeting on the Mekong Sub-Region’s anti-trafficking issues (abbreviated to Inter-Ministerial Meeting) will be convened in Beijing. To cooperate with the Beijing Inter-Ministerial Meeting, every country in the Mekong Sub-Region (China, Cambodia, Burma, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam) will launch a series of children’s forums on the anti-trafficking theme.
Adapted from: China Online. "Children Talk about How to Prevent Trafficking at the National Anti-Trafficking Children’s Forum." 26 July 2007.
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