Delegate: Mr. Insaf Bakeer Markar
83. Mr. Markar (Sri Lanka), speaking as a youth delegate, said that children comprised approximately 30 per cent of his country’s population. Sri Lanka was one of the early signatories to the Convention its Optional Protocols and the two ILO Convention on child labour and the Government took those obligations seriously. The Constitution guaranteed equality to all citizens and included special provisions for the advancement of children, women and disabled persons, recognizing the need for affirmative action on behalf of vulnerable communities. Children in Sri Lanka were protected by a network that began with the family and included a widespread, accessible health care system and a free education system from the primary to the university level. The Government also offered students free health care, meals, textbooks, uniforms and books.
84. He emphasized the importance of providing children with opportunities to exercise the freedom of expression and access appropriate information. Access to leisure and recreation was often denied in modern families where there was an overemphasis on academic performance. Children should be encouraged to participate in the decision-making processes that affected their lives with accurate information and care. The impact of new and evolving issues, such as the spread of fake news, hate speech and misinformation across social media, on the day-to-day lives of children should be considered.
UN Doc.: A/C.3/73/SR.13