A 14-year-old girl from Kombapari village in East Nusa Tenggara, has spoken at the United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York City.
Roslinda arrived in New York after a 30-hour long journey from her hometown. During the forum, the schoolgirl spoke at five sessions. One of the panel discussion sessions also featured Head of National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro, along with ministers from other countries.
“I urge you to listen to childrens’ voices and involve children in discussions with government. Let us work together and play our roles to end violence against children,” she said in her speech in English at the UNICEF House.
Roslinda, who is known to her friends as Oslin, has been involved with Wahana Visi Indonesia, a partner of Christian aid organization World Vision International since she was in primary school.
Oslin had also been selected to lead a child forum in her village. One of the causes she advocated was for a birth certificate for every child in her village.
“In our village, there is only one elementary school and one middle school. To go to high school, children have to go to the city, and without a birth certificate they are not accepted,” she said.
Many of the children didn’t have birth certificates because their parents could not afford to travel to district offices to apply for one. In 2018, Oslin initiated a mass birth certificate registration campaign.
“Now, every child in my village has a birth certificate,” she said. In her speech, Oslin emphasised four areas: providing birth certificates for children, optimising reporting systems for violence against children, involving children in government development, and abolishing of child marriage.
Source: The Jakarta Post
Image: Wahana Visi Indonesia