The opening ceremony of the 2005 World Children's Rights Summit was held yesterday in Taipei, as 87 children from 19 different nations gathered to discuss the main theme this year -- how children can help children.
The event, organized the Children's Rights Association of Taiwan, is being held for the fifth time this year, and focuses on three issues that influence children all over the world -- war, poverty and abuse.
Huang Pi-hsia (
Children's rights are often overlooked by society, especially in cases of child abuse and when parents commit suicide with their children, Huang said. Children have the right to live and the right to be protected, she added.
"When the summit is over, these children will return to their respective countries and will educate other children, and hopefully, when they grow up, they will become parents who understand children's rights," Huang said.
The NGO Affairs Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also played a role in the summit, by helping to finance the event.
Oliver Liao (
"We hope that through this summit, human rights and children's rights can be promoted on a global scale," Liao said.
The Taiwanese participants underwent a selection process in which English was a major criterion, while participants from abroad found out about the program through Taiwan's economic and cultural affairs offices while in their own countries.
Henry Verall, a 12-year-old British student from the Taipei European School (TES), said that this was his second year attending the summit.
"Last year the topic was environmental protection, but this year the summit focuses on poverty, war and child abuse," Verall said. "To me, the most important children's right is a sense of security -- that children can feel and be safe wherever they go."
Jamie Whitcombe, who is also a TES student, said that they were asked to write an essay on children's rights before attending the summit.
"I really didn't realize the importance of the issues until I actually attended this summit," Whitcombe said.
"Now I know the real meaning of children helping other children," Whitcome added.
Igor de Oliveire Borges, a 12-year-old student from Brazil, said that he would most like to see the alleviation of child poverty all over the world.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students