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2019, március 23 - 11:00

Seychelles and Unicef - Unicef sets to return after 17-year absence

After an absence of 17 years, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund has re-ignited its partnership with Seychelles in children and youth development through, firstly, a scoping mission.

A senior consultant with the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (Unicef), Prea Gulati, said “Unicef is here to look, learn and understand the state of this very significant group of the population of  Seychelles, but not to dictate on the way forward”.

The return of the Unicef was first discussed in 2015 and coincided with the publication of the global school-based student health survey, conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States’ Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which looks at the general behaviour of children aged 13 to 15 years in the country.

The study revealed a significant increase in risky and long term life threatening behaviour among the youth of Seychelles at a very young age, including sexual activities and indulgences in unhealthy habit such as smoking and alcohol abuse.

During her one-week stay in Seychelles, Ms Gulati, who is also a behavioural economist and a public health expert, visited various institutions providing services and assistance to youth of Seychelles such as the National Council for Children (NCC).

Alongside its main objective of advocating for children, the council has also provided guidance on child protection to various entities through the promotion of effective practice on child issues. 

“We need to create safe and supportive spaces for every family member, including fathers and men who are the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our society,” said NCC chief executive Jean-Claude Matombé.

At the end of the mission, the United Nation’s organisation will make recommendations to relevant ministries and entities on how to improve on what is already being done, which may in turn be translated into a national action plan geared towards children and young people.

Unicef has also expressed interest in working with Seychelles not only in child protection, but also in communication and resource mobilisation.


Contributed by NCC