RUN KHAM KHONG 2023, campaigning to end gender-based violence
On December 2-3, 2023, the children’s network in three border districts (Chiang Khong, Chiang Saen, Wiang Kaen), together with great support from UNFPA Thailand, UN-Women, UNDP Thailand, Center for Girls Foundation, local government agencies, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, organized a walking-running activity across the Mekong 2023 in Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai Province, to Huay Xai District, Bo Keo Province, Lao PDR, with the objective of campaigning to end gender-based violence.
The activity received the interest of many children and youth from all three border districts participating. Throughout the walking-running across Mekong River, children and youth held signs campaigning to stop gender-based violence, such as “Children are not property,” “Children have the right to protect themselves,” “Stop domestic violence,” etc.
Children and youth also announced their intention to end gender-based violence in front of the participants, stating, “We, children and youth, would like to announce our intention to end gender-based violence against children and youth. We call on all sectors to work together to protect children and youth from all forms of violence.”
In addition to declaring intentions, children and youth also participated in submitting suggestions for creating a safe city for children to agencies involved in child protection, such as Chiang Khong District, agencies from the United Nations, and NGOs that work on children’s issues. The said offer is as follows:
- Strictly enforce the law against perpetrators of violence against children.
- Encourage children and youth to have the right to express themselves and participate in society.
- Develop a social welfare system to support children and youth affected by violence.
The Mekong Walk-Run 2023 activity is an important step in encouraging children and youth to participate in ending gender-based violence. It reflects the rights of children and youth to express themselves in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, stating that children and youth have the right to participate in decision-making on issues related to themselves, including the right to express opinions and opinions that must be taken seriously.
The activity also raises awareness of the issue of gender-based violence against children and youth, to continue creating a safe society for children and youth.
Children’s rights: Moving forward
Walking and running activities across the Mekong River 2023 highlight the important role of children and youth in participating in society and the rights of children and youth to express themselves according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Thailand, as a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, has a duty to protect children’s rights according to the Convention. This includes the right of children and youth to express themselves.
Therefore, relevant agencies, including the government, private sector, and civil society, need to jointly encourage children and youth to participate creatively in society and recognize the rights of children and youth to express themselves so that children and youth can grow up and live with dignity and happiness.
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