Thirty-nine per cent of the 173 candidates contesting Saturday’s election have come forward to sign a declaration committing themselves to champion children’s aspirations if elected.
The Children’s Rights Observatory Malta (CROM), set up through an agreement between the University of Malta and the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, made an appeal earlier this month calling on all candidates to openly declare their political intent to push children’s rights.
The declaration commits these 68 prospective MPs to work to create an inclusive safe space for child participation.
Wellbeing foundation chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said: “The number of those who came forward is extremely encouraging as all too often children’s rights are forgotten by adults. I am confident that with so many Children’s Rights Champions the rights of our younger citizens will be given the viability they deserve.”
The observatory serves as a watchdog for children’s rights and together with academics from the University of Malta and the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, is intended to influence policymakers through further research and data.
Faculty dean Andrew Azzopardi said the fact that 68 candidates had come forward was proof that they clearly understood their responsibility towards children’s agenda.
“This is the perfect opportunity to move from merely listening to taking concrete action on issues children present and drive the change they expect from us,” Prof. Azzopardi said.