About SI & SE CAB
(Children Advisory Body or Child Advisory Board)
San Ignacio & Santa Elena Municipality
The CAB is a municipal-level child participation mechanism in tandem with Article 12 of the UNCRC; to his end, it proves a space (children are given safe, inclusive opportunities to form and express their view), give them the voice (children are facilitated to express their view), affords them an audience (children’s view must be appropriately acted upon).
Technically and logistically supported by the municipal council, the CAB as the name implies, is and advisory body to council and Technical Steering Committee on all matters impacting the lives of children and adolescents living in the municipality; it is however autonomous in its decision making process.
Belize, like other member states of the Caribbean, is currently experiencing the largest cohort of 15-24 year olds in its history; half of the Caribbean population is under the age of 25. While this generation of young people face many challenges and risks that impact directly on their physical, emotional and mental health, and well being, there are enormous opportunities and benefits that could accrue to Belize, and the region by investing in young people.
This generation will enter into the working world in a context where they outnumber the dependent populations thus creating a window of opportunity for a demographic bonus.
Therefore, the challenge to the Municipality and to the Government - to Governments and the development agencies that work with them - is to ensure that policies and programmes are responsive to the needs and rights of young people. Youth participation is an effective way to ensure youth voices in policies and programmes.
The CAB is also a group of young people, in particular those who are vulnerable and live in extremely difficult circumstances. The group provides a youth consultative space for reviewing Municipal Plans.
- The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative (SCFM) is a joint initiative of UNDP and UNICEF, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development, NEM and Immigration (henceforth: MLLG), and the Belize Mayors’ Association (BMA). The initiative officially launched in September 2014, received wide recognition and official endorsement by all Mayors, united in their endeavor to ensure their municipalities provide the best conditions for the survival, growth and development of children, and for ensuring that children’s rights are at the forefront of policy-planning and policy implementation at the local level.
· To facilitate open dialogue and exchange among youth and between the Assessment Panel, Technical & Steering Committees so that CAB can provide advice and recommendations on the diverse range of youth issues and strategic opportunities and actions to address them.
· To approve Municipalities Child Friendly Budget during the budget preparation cycle.
In order to fulfill SCFM criteria, each municipality had to create a Technical Municipality Steering Committee. The Technical Municipality Steering Committee developed targets and objectives of the municipal plan, and is presently monitoring the implementation of the municipal plan developed.
Functions (Scope of work)
· Bring a youth perspective on issues affecting youth in Municipalities so as to ensure that their rights and needs
are acknowledged and promoted within the Sustainable Child Friendly Municipal Strategic Plans;
· Facilitate knowledge-sharing about best practices and lessons learned for agenda of young people’s rights, gender equality and sexual and reproductive health within the Sustainable Child Friendly Municipal Strategic Plans;
· Improve young people’s understanding of the principles and Sustainable Child Friendly Municipal Strategic Plans to improve the lives of young people;
· Strengthen the skills of young people (especially vulnerable and disadvantaged young people) in areas that include leadership, decision-making, communication, problem solving and advocacy, thereby facilitating their effective participation in Municipal Developmental processes.
· Budget review and approval by young people for each municipality.
- Coordinates at the district level efforts and initiatives geared towards improvement in the lives of children, adolescents, men and women in their respective municipalities
- Monitors and reports the progress on the outcomes of the municipal strategic plan
- Advocates for a relevant response to areas where children’s rights are not being fulfilled within the municipality
- Recommends to the Municipality effective use of technical and financial resources
- Liaise and enable vertical and horizontal communication and sharing (reporting).