The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF is tasked with providing humanitarian and development assistance to children. In this regard, UNICEF and the Government of Belize is holding a national consultation which is examining the current situation of women and children in Belize. Paulette Wade, the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at UNICEF, says they hope to design a policy that will improve their rights and also to have true equality.
Paulette Wade – Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF: “We have embarked on completing this situation analysis with the National Committee for families and children. We have decided to have this joint initiative because at the same time the government also needs to respond or report on the children’s agenda. So we have kind of merged the two things together because this situational analysis will serve both purposes, for us to understand what is happening for children and women but at the same time being able to see what is happening as it relates to the achievement of the Children’s Agenda.”
Wade said that children have been included in the discussions since it directly affect them. She explained that the data being examined was taken from the child labour report and other data relating to children.
Paulette Wade – Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF: “We took the actual data and we are doing a secondary analysis because the situation analysis basically takes form data that is produced so you get the numbers and now what we are doing is the national consultation to get the context of why are those numbers. So if we say the numbers show that we have increasing rates of teenage pregnancy, when we go to the consultation we then understand why this is happening, what are the drivers of this whether or not it’s poverty, is it a gender issue and so on and kind of unpack what the data is saying. We are only looking at three chapters; we are looking at the chapters on child protection, we are looking at the chapter on justice and we are looking at the chapter on health and so only the stakeholders for those areas have been invited.”
A national consultation that examines child development is held every five years.