End Child Poverty participated at the Ending All Conflicts in Africa: No Peace, No Development Side Event convened by the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the Baha’i International Community Addis Ababa Office (BIC-AAO) on 25th September 2015. The meeting centred discussion on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 goal of eliminating all conflicts in Africa by 2020. The nexus between Sustainable Development, on one hand, and peace, stability, and security on the other was reflected upon.
During the event, the director of End Child Poverty, Fred Nyabera, delivered a presentation on Children and Child Soldiers in Conflict affected areas in Africa. In his presentation he illustrated how Africa has the highest growth rate in the use of children in conflict, and how the age of those enlisted is also decreasing. He further shared the different ways that children get recruited and the push and pull factors for the same, including poverty as a push factor. In his recommendations Rev. Nyabera called for: the Ratification, domestication and implementation of the international laws that protect children’s rights especially as contained in the Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC); the governments and armed groups that recruit children into their military ranks to be held accountable for their actions; and for adequate resources to be made available for community-based programmes that provide psycho-social assistance and reintegration of the children associated with armed groups.
The Round Table committed to working together to transform violent conflicts in Africa – with the African governments, the African Union, civil society organizations, as well as children and young people. To this end a more inclusive meeting on peace, security and development targeting faith communities and the African Union will be organized in Addis Ababa in the coming year.