Reading: Children’s Day a reminder of their rights

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Ayo jadikan teks di bawah ini sebagai cara untuk meningkatkan kemampuan membaca kita dalam bahasa Inggris.

On July 23 many people across the nation observed National Children’s Day, a special day of the year when festivities are held to celebrate the happiness and creativity of Indonesian children. It also serves as a reminder that we still have so much to do to ensure their welfare and protection of their rights, including their right to education.

JP/Arief Suhardiman

National Education Minister Muhammad Nuh said recently that an estimated one-half million children did not finish their first six years of education last year. The ministry has reported that more than 750,000 Indonesian students dropped out of elementary or junior high schools between January and October 2010. Of that number, 241,110 quit before finishing the first nine years of schooling.

The same report said that 1.26 million students who finished the first nine years of compulsory education did not go on to high school, primarily due to financial reasons. As of December 2010, there were 31.05 million elementary school students and 12.69 million junior high school students in Indonesia.

Indonesian children also faced obstacles when it comes to getting legal assistance. The Indonesian Commission for Child Protection compiles data that shows more than 7,000 juveniles are serving time in prisons and detention facilities across the nation. Most of these children share their prison cells with adult prisoners.

Indonesia has yet to shape its justice system to deal with child offenders, and law enforcers often use a punitive approach toward child offenders.

A 2011 report funded by the Australian Aid program found that more than 85 percent of Indonesian children who are brought to court for crimes are sentenced to prison, mostly for petty theft. More than 60 percent of them receive sentences of more than one year.

“Child offenders should not be treated the same as adult criminals. The system needs to protect their well-being,” said Paul Robilliard, Australian Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, during a commemoration of National Children’s Day in Taman Menteng, Central Jakarta.

On that day, the Australian government pledged to support juvenile justice and child protection in Indonesia by providing AU$600,000 (US$ 644,953) this year in grants to organizations working to improve juvenile justice and child protection in the country.

The grants are provided to the Indonesian Legal Resource Centre (Mitra Pembaruan Pendidikan Hukum Indonesia), the Jakarta Legal Institute (LBH Jakarta), the Indonesian Legal Institute (YLBHI), the Children’s Legal Aid Institute of Aceh, the Semarang Legal Institute, and the Child Protection Agency of East Java.

 The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Indonesia has ratified, guarantees that children accused of breaking the law have the right to legal help and fair treatment in the justice system.




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