Timor-Leste Election Observer Calls for End to Using Children in Campaigns

By Cristina Ximenes February 01, 2022 974

DILI: Timor-Leste’s National Election Observer (RONETIL) called on Monday for an end to using children in election campaigns, saying it was a violation of human rights, a move civil society groups welcome as important to progress on the issue.

Laurentino Alves, the founder of RONETIL, said the practice is against the rights of children and a barrier to sustainable development which perpetuates poverty.

Alves said RONETIL recognised the need for a national response plan to protect children during political campaigning which affects hundreds of children every election and said candidates would be closely monitored to ensure children are safe and free to make informed decisions on their politics.

" If any child is used during the presidential or parliament election it will be immediately reported to the responsible state organisation to resolve the issue accordingly,” Alves told the Independente.

“If any party involves children in their campaign it will be considered as an abuse of children and a violation of the child’s rights.”

The Deadline for submitting candidacies to the President of the Court of Appeal closes Friday 4 February.

Approved candidates will be announced between 8-20 February.

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