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By Soukthavy

(KPL) Thepthida Sithepthanouxay, 12, an ethnic school girl from Atsaphon district, Savannakhet province wants to see children in her village and her schoolmates given an opportunity to take part in community activities.

“My village is far from the administration centre of the province so many students don’t have a chance to join major activities like me,” said Thepthida. 

The United Nations Children’s Fund to Laos led a group of Lao media practitioners to meet over 50 representatives of children aged 11-18 from 7 central and southern provinces in Savannakhet. 

The children were from Bolikhamsay, Savannakhet, Khammuan, Saravan, Champassak, Sekong and Attapeu.

A consultation held in Savannakhet gave the children’s representatives the opportunity to voice their needs, concerns and to propose solutions to existing challenges with respect to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The children’s representatives expressed their needs to see changes happening to their families, communities and provinces.

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 “I want to see more children in rural areas getting an access to education, especially in my province,” said Minaly Souliyachan, 15, a secondary school girl from Attapeu Province.

Thipphakone Philavan, 15, a Matthayom 6 student from Khammouan has urged relevant authorities and international organizations to provide more educational equipment to schools in rural areas and involve more children in different types of activities.

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“I want to encourage children as well as adults take part in protecting environment either at schools or in society at large,” said Mr Phongsack Dengpaseuth, 16, a Matthayom 6 student from Champassak.

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“What the children shared with us today will be summarized into a report to be submitted to the government and UNICEF so that they will know what the children want to do and need,” said Ms Khamsay Iemsouthi, Child Protection Specialist of United Nations Children’s Fund to Laos. 

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