The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Children’s Charter/Charter) was adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU); now AU on 11 July 1990 and entered into force on 29 November 1999. The Charter establishes the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Committee/Committee), consisting of 11 members of high moral standing, integrity, impartiality and competence in matters of the rights and welfare of the child.
In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted the Day of the African Child (DAC) for the first time in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. During that time students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages. This calls for a reflection on the Quality of Education we provide in the Schools under our support.
Since then, the OAU and its successor, the AU, have used the DAC to remember these children, to celebrate children in Africa as well as to inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the plethora of challenges that children in Africa face on a daily basis.
Whenever we Celebrate the DAC; we are reminded of the important linkages between the SDGs and the African Children’s Charter, with the goal of inspiring States Parties to accelerate efforts towards realizing all children’s rights as provided by the Charter, as a contribution towards accelerating the promotion and protection of all children’s rights in Africa. There are 17 main goals (with 169 targets) that altogether make up the SDGs, with several targets and indicators for each goal. ; As WIU our Projects contribute Most significantly to 8 of the SDGs which are; 1 (end poverty), 2 (eradicate hunger), 3 (promote health- Including Menstrual Health ), 4 (secure education), 5 (effect gender equality), 6 (access to water and sanitation), 16 (peace/justice/strong institutions) & 17 (partnerships/participation)
The African Committee selects the theme for the DAC every year. The theme selected by the for the celebration of the DAC in 2020 is “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa”
Windle International Targets Slightly more than 95% children in her various projects and as such Children in Africa; who have been greatly affected by conflict are the major recipients of the services we offer; hence the great interest we have in Marking this day.
The Windle International Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy Stipulates clearly how best our engagements with children are done to the best benefit and interest of the children; As such all Windle International Staff are duty bound to ensure that the rights of children as Proclaimed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; are Upheld and Protected at all times. We have to Safeguard the Children under our care against all forms of abuse; within the course of implementation of our various projects as well as in our day to day Lives; THERE CAN’T BE ANY EXCUSE FOR FAILURE TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN WE SERVE!
This Year’s theme of ; “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa” Reminds us that even though WI Projects Currently don not have components of Legal Representation; the Justice chain for children is a long one ; and several times we find our selves involved in providing Justice to Children who face abuse within our areas of Jurisdiction as well as setting up policies and rules which Prevent Potential abuse ; As such We are Key Players in the Children Justice Systems in our Project Locations and this Country at large.
The Commemoration of this Years Day of the African Child shall be Scientific in most of our Project Locations and as such shall not come with the usually associated Pomp and Glamour. Wherever this day has found you, do whatever you can to acknowledge it and most importantly pledge to continue prioritising the rights of the African child and children world over. Please also take time to read the following documents available on our website for the Scientific Commemoration of this Year’s Day of the African Child.
- A Summary on the Rights of Children under the UN- CRC.
- Standard Definition of Key Terms used in Child Protection and Safeguarding – Focus Including the Refugee Context.
- Guiding Principles in Child Protection and Safeguarding.
- Best Practices in Documenting Cases against Children.
- Child Friendly Interview Basics; – Do’s and Don’ts.
Remember children are the future, protecting their rights is right step to an enabled future.