Right to Equality and Inclusion
Every child has the right to be treated fairly and to have the same rights and opportunities and to reach their full potential. Yet the rights of millions of children are blocked by deprivation and discrimination based on factors beyond their control – their gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, place of birth or whether they live with a disability, for example. Indeed, lack of equality and discrimination are drivers of poverty. In addition, gender-based violence especially in conflict and post-conflict societies greatly affects the well-being of children End Child Poverty’s work on social inclusion aims to address these barriers to children’s well-being.
The equity-based approach in End Child Poverty’s programmes and policies seeks to understand and address the root causes of inequity so that all children, particularly those who suffer the worst deprivations in society, have access to services necessary for their survival, growth and development.
To this end, we support community initiatives and advocacy to promote gender equality, including addressing gender-based violence, as well as ending all forms of violence against children. Notably End Child Poverty together with the Norwegian Church Aid initiated the African Children and Youth Network for Human Rights /Réseau des Enfants et Jeunes Africains pour les Droits Humains (REJADH) to advocate for equality for both boys and girls.
REJADH was established as a platform for advocacy by and for young people. REJADH brings together children, youth, and young adults (between 13 – 29 years mostly) from 5 countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan – countries greatly affected by conflict, poverty, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Through this program, we sought to empower young leaders (youth, youth influencers, and young adults) with the necessary skills to help them reduce, prevent, and end gender-based violence and its negative effects on young people and the community at large. This has been done primarily through a campaign dubbed Myth of Maputo. This Campaign calls for the ratification and full implementation of the Maputo Protocol, among other strategies to address GBV and it negative impacts on children and youth. In this campaign, the network has mainly focussed on capacity building sessions, for instance, through advocacy, leadership training and networking as well as online advocacy.
REJADH has directly reached to more than 5,000 children and youth in the target countries through the Myth of Maputo campaign and thousands more through the REJADH social media spaces.