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Fast facts

Less than 10% of children

Could access early childhood care and education in one-third of countries in 2011.

A partnership for a strong family

Print version
15 May 2012
Press release
5 5 Photos

TASHKENT and TERMEZ, UZBEKISTAN, 15 May, 2012 — The Convention on the Rights of the Child gives the family a central role in bringing up children. It also states that the government, its institutions at national and local levels, the civil society are to support the family in its child rearing duties so that children can develop, grow and reach their full potential. It is all the more significant this year since 2012 has been declared by the Government of Uzbekistan as the Year of the Strong Family.

«Year of the Strong Family gives a new impetus to our on-going efforts to enable families to fulfil their obligations. The State Programme on the Year of the Family includes many important elements to provide comprehensive support to the institution of the family — mainly young families. Consolidating the supportive role of the Mahalla, creating broader opportunities for women and targeting social protection to the neediest families," said Jean-Michel Delmotte, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan, addressing representatives from the provincial departments, civil society organisations and the National Human Rights Centre in Termez, Surkhandarya at a discussion on the National Plan of Action for Children organised jointly by the President’s Academy, the Local Authorities and UNICEF.

Of all the settings available, the family provides the most important developmental conditions for children. Other settings, such as school, day care, or community centres are important to a child’s development, but nothing can replace the family as the basic unit of child care. Apart from being the most powerful influence in a child’s life, it is also by far the most economical system known for effective child rearing.

Much of UNICEF’s work globally and in Uzbekistan focuses on strengthening the role of the family with respect to children. It is guided by the following five principles:

1. Parents are the primary duty bearers for the rights of their children and share this responsibility within family. All decisions should be jointly undertaken in the best interest of the child.

2. Programme of assistance and services should support families in the discharge of their function as caregivers to the child rather than provide substitutes for this function.

3. Support provided by the State or the community should build on the inherent strengths of the family and on its capacity for self-reliance.

4. In line with their evolving capacity, the voices of children have to be heard in the family and children should have a say in the decisions that affect their life.

5. A partnership for a strong family has to be established between parents, Government, mahallah and civil society organisations. They have to work together to meet the increasing demands and challenges of parenting a healthy and harmoniously developed generation.

UNICEF implements various programmes jointly with the Government of Uzbekistan to enable children to realise their rights and to empower families to be responsible ‘duty-bearers’ to children. These programmes are manifold and cover such areas as social policy, health, education, child protection, and communication for development. UNICEF’s support ranges from strengthening public policies that support families to provide and care for their children to equipping parents and other caregivers with positive household practices to ensure the survival, development and protection of children.

Specifically, UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Finance and the Mahalla foundation to improve the social protection system and ensure that the families in most need can access non-contributory social assistance so that all children can realize their right to adequate standards of living and essential services. Cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Public Education focuses on improving access to and quality of essential health and education services, especially for the most vulnerable children and their families. The Child Protection Programme being implemented with a number of governmental and civil society partners strengthens the role of the family as the best and the most cost-effective setting for every child to be cared for. Policy interventions and strengthening family social services work in tandem to support caregivers to keep children in the family environment and not place them in institutions unless it is an action of last resort taken in the best interest of the child.

UNICEF is also working closely with families and communities to promote good parenting and encourage caregivers within the family to adopt and sustain positive behaviours essential for child survival, development, care and growth. The package of key household behaviours identified for promotion across the country includes breastfeeding, hand washing, recognising danger signs among children and pregnant women, consuming proper nutrition, sending pre-school age children to kindergarten and protecting children from violence and discrimination.

For further information, please contact:

Savita Varde-Naqvi, Chief Communication
Phone: (+998 71) 2339512, 2339735

Nigina Baykabulova, Communication Officer
Phone: (+998 71) 2339512, 2339735

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