30 July 2012, St. Johns–Antigua: The Ministry of Social Transformation is seeking to enlistthe services of a consultant to commence the preparation of three consolidated periodic reports to the United NationsCommittee on the Rights of the Child.

Antigua and Barbuda is a StateParty to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) andratified the Convention on 5 October 1993, the Optional Protocol to theConvention on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography on30 April 2002 and the Convention concerning the Prohibition and ImmediateAction for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, on 16 September2002.

These draft reports listed asthe 2nd, 3rd and 4th, upon completion will require the approval of theGovernment of Antigua and Barbuda which is the State Party.

Already, measures have been adopted to give effect tothe rights set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and on theprogress made in the enjoyment of those rights and should indicate the factorsand difficulties, if any, affecting the degree of fulfillment of theobligations under the Convention.

Chief Welfare Officer, CindyPrice, explained that assignments on the reports are expected to commence bythe first week in August, and upon receiving the approval of the Government ofAntigua and Barbuda, the consolidated report will be submitted to the Committeeon the Rights of the Child.

Price said, the UnitedNations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),stipulated that, the draft consolidated report should cover the period sincethe consideration of the first periodic report (2004) and has to be prepared inpursuance to the provisions of article 44.1 (b) of the Convention on the Rightsof the Child, and be prepared in conformity with the guidelines contained inthe document CRC/C/58/Rev.1 – General Guidelines regarding the form and contentof periodic reports to be submitted by states parties under article 44,paragraph 1 (b), of the convention – dated 29/11/2005.

The consultant is expected to collectinformation through different participatory methods, incorporate all existingand relevant data, to meet with all concerned stakeholders including NationalChild Protection Reform Committee, experts from various sectors, governmentofficials, civil society organizations, United Nations (UN) and otherinternational agencies, parents and children and to present the draft Report toa National Consultation of stakeholders to be organized by the Ministry ofHealth and Social Transformation.

The consultant is expected towithin two (2) months of commencement present the draft report, facilitatenational consultation for feedback from stakeholders as well as children,report monthly to National Child Protection Reform Committee, review andincorporate comments of technical review committee, stakeholders, children andCabinet in Antigua and Barbuda, finalize report and submit to the Ministry ofHealth and Social Transformation and present report to Cabinet.

The Government, in seeking toobserve its obligations under the Convention, continues totake significant steps in advancing the process towards ensuring conformitywith domestic legislation and improving the situation of children in the lightof UN-CRC as well as concluding observations made by the United NationsCommittee.

The United Nations Committeeon the Convention on the Rights of the Child considered the initial report ofAntigua and Barbuda and made its concluding observations in 2004[1].

TheGovernment has noted the concluding observations highlighted by the Committeeon the Rights of the Child and has addressed some of the recommendations.

Price intimated that qualified and experiencedconsultants who have worked for approximately five (5) plus years on childrights, preferably in Antigua and Barbuda and in the Caribbean, could apply atthe Citizens’ Welfare Division or call Ph: 268-462-6368/4402 for furtherdetails.