Day of the African Child: Why it matters

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“Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” — Nelson Mandela

Day of the African Child, observed annually on June 16, honours the memories of students who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa, in 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime. It was designated as Day of the African Child in 1991 by the African Union and every year events are organised to promote children’s rights.

Across Africa children suffer many forms of   Violence including forced child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual assault, child trafficking, child labour, and recruitment of child soldiers.

A Few Facts:

  • About half of the world’s children out of school are in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 1 in 6 children born in sub-Saharan African do not live to their fifth birthday. 
  • 1 in 3 girls in low and middle-income countries are married by the age of 18.
  • 30 million girls in Africa are in danger of undergoing FGM in the next decade.
  • By the year 2050 almost 1 in 3 of the world’s children under 18 will be African.
  • The children of African women with at least 5 years of schooling have a 40% higher chance of survival.
  • In 2014, UNICEF and partners secured the release of more than 1000 children from armed groups in the Central African Republic, more than 5 times the total number of children released in 2013.

This year End Child Poverty will be participating in a Regional roundtable on reducing Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Its negative Impacts on Children as well as a celebration for the Day of The African Child. The events will take place on June 15-16 at the All African Conference of Churches (AACC) Desmond Tutu Conference Centre  Nairobi, Kenya. 

During the event discussions will take place on GBV and its impact on children and child poverty, policy landscape on GBV and child rights, community organization and mobilization for grassroots advocacy, media as a platform for advocacy, interfaith advocay and high-level engagement for policy change and plans of action moving forward.

Check back soon for a detailed update on these events!



16 facts for Day of the African Child on June 16





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