LEAD Celebrates Day of the African Child, with a call for protection of children

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21 June Day of African child
By Linda Masarira (LEAD President)
As Africa celebrates the day of the African child it is important to also note that the real African child has nothing to celebrate. African children are being exploited as cheap labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, South Africa and many other African countries.
The African child is being murdered in cold blood in Mozambique, Libya, and other war-torn African countries. Sadly millions of children in Africa live in abject poverty and those who get an opportunity to at least go to school have no hope whatsoever of a brighter future as the political elite do not prioritize quality education for the poor African citizens in their states.
The theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) this year is “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee), established under Articles 32 and 33 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the Charter) selected this theme for the commemoration of the DAC in 2021.
Labour Economists and African Democrats (LEAD) acknowledges the Day of the African Child (DAC) as an important day to promote children’s rights and welfare issues. Beyond the recognition of this day on the 16th of June every year, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child should move from just an advocacy tool to an action committee that penalizes all African countries that are not prioritizing the protection and welfare of children in their states. How do we celebrate children in Africa when their future is bleak and hopeless? How do we inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the plethora of challenges that children face on a daily basis when African LEADers prefer to be puppets of other countries without taking care of their own first?
Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children has got very valid and real aspirations which unfortunately remain just writings in a booklet that have zero monitoring and evaluation models to ensure implementation from member states.
Today I challenge all the 55 States of Africa to commit to implementing the following aspirations as soon as possible to ensure that children in Africa have sustainable livelihoods.
Aspiration 1: The African Children’s Charter, as supervised by the African Children’s Committee, provides an effective continental framework for advancing children’s rights
Aspiration 2: An effective child-friendly national legislative, policy, and institutional framework is in place in all Member States
Aspiration 3: Every child’s birth and other vital statistics are registered
Aspiration 4: Every child survives and has a healthy childhood

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