On June 16th every year, governments, NGOs, International Organisations and other stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realization of the rights of children in Africa.
This is in commemoration of the 1976 massacre of SOWETO children in the then apartheid South Africa. An analysis of the global persistence and even escalation of violence in all areas of life, including homes, communities, institutions, and armed conflicts, reveals that the vast majority of people damaged by the decisions made and the actions carried out by those in power (largely men) are children (and women). Most alarmingly, however, is that over half the world’s refugees are children. It is thus no wonder that this year, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child deemed it necessary to dedicate the commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2016 to the millions of Children affected by the conflicts and the crises in the continent and beyond under the theme; “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all children’s rights”.
End Child Poverty participated in children-led event to mark the Day of the African Child, organized by the Children’s and Youth Desk of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC). The event held in Nairobi at the AACC Desmond Tutu Conference Centre, brought together children, parent, guardian and caregivers, Ecumenical Women leaders from various churches across Africa.
Through End Child Poverty,GNRC contact persons and partners from the Christian and Muslim faith were facilitated to attend and participate in this event.They included youth and faith leaders from Burundi,The Democratic Republic of Congo,South Sudan and Kenya.
The greater call from the deliberations of those present was that the implementation of the principles and realisation of the aspirations of the rights of the Child in the continent and beyond very much depends on the willingness and readiness of a range of stakeholders including religious and community leaders. There was also the call for evidence-based communication and advocacy that each of the participants present committed to undertake.