Almotamar.net - The Children's Parliament has concluded its final session for the period 2011-2013 in the Parliament House’s small hall.
The sessions were attended by government representatives and a number of international organizations, members of the Media Network.
The final session discussed a number of important issues with focus on the recommendations of Geneva meeting, the outputs of the National Dialogue Conference and the involvement of children in armed conflicts.
During the last two days, the Children Parliaments members were trained in advocacy and how to draft and design their messages to the decision makers. This session was funded by Save the Children International in partnership with the democratic school.
Jerry Farrell, the Country Director of Save the Children International in Yemen stated that all Children in Yemen have the Right to Participation and be empowered.
“I believe strongly in the Children’s Parliament as a forum for Children and young people to make their voices heard at all levels and they will play a role in improving the Children situation as future leaders in their community,” Farrell ensured.
Since 2000, The Children’s Parliament, with support from the Democratic School, held five elections. Every two years, the Children Parliament holds an election which follows democratic processes in accordance with Yemeni election laws.
Save the Children has been supporting the Children’s Parliament over the years. In 2010 election, the Children Parliament members increased from 38 children to 50 children to make it a body that represents all Children in Yemen from all sections including: boys, girls, working children, orphans, children with disabilities, and children from minorities.
Save the Children International, advocate for including refugee Children in the coming election for Children Parliament 2012 as all Children in Yemen have the same rights. For the first time, refugee Children will be representatives in the Children Parliament election that will be launched in April, 2012 and about 5 members will be acting as observers and will be able to address issues regarding refugees in Yemen.
According to UNHCR report on Dec. 2011, the number of Refugees recognized by the Government are 204,685 and most of them are Somalis and the Refugees recognized under UNHCR’s mandate reached to 215,707 mainly from Ethiopia 4,933, Eritrea 918, Iraqi 4,259, Others 912. In addition, there are new Arrivals at the Coast for 2011 reaching 103,154. Yemen is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula to be signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.