Why stronger protection systems be adopted

17Jun 2016
The Guardian
Why stronger protection systems be adopted

THE Day of the African Child (DAC) 2016 has been observed under the theme “ Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights” .

In line with the ACERWC continental study on the impact of armed conflict on children is Africa, it is part of the efforts to elevate child protection agenda in conflict situation in Africa as well as a guarantee the protection and preservation of life and well-being of the African children.

DAC 2016 is commemorated every year on 16 June. Like every year, the committee provides recommendations to Member States on the Commemoration of the DAC.

The Concept Note for this year edition sets out the situational context of conflict and crisis in Africa and the impact on children. It further highlights the challenges hindering the elimination of conflicts and crises in Africa, to finally recommend examples of best practice in the elimination of conflicts.

In 2002, almost half the states engaged in conflict were using children under the age of 15 in their armed forces. But amid the devastation of war, children are often forgotten with the full extent of their suffering only emerging afterwards.

New data shows that 1 billion girls and boys live in areas that were affected by armed conflict in 2013 or 2014. Over the last decade, more than 250 million people were affected by disasters each year – more than half were children.

In the same vein, four in five children with disabilities are in developing countries and Tanzania is no exception. In addition, many millions of children live in households with parents, dependents, guardians or relatives who have disabilities. Additionally, levels of moderate and severe disability are higher in resource poor settings than in rich countries.

Children living with disability normally experience developmental human growth delays causing further disabilities, as they tend not to have access to appropriate early emotional behavior interventions.

They face emotional challenges such as isolation, stigma, discrimination and neglect. Most have no hope for the future. Children living with disabilities have less access to schools and learning opportunities and are more likely to be abused.

Harmful community practices and cultural beliefs further disadvantage children living with disabilities, making the protection of children with disability a major concern in the region. During the commemoration, activists said that, like any other child, children living with disabilities have a right to social and emotional wellbeing, and should be enhanced.

“As we commemorate this year’s day of the African Child, let us remember that we jointly have a duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and fulfill the psychosocial rights of children living with disabilities. They need equal opportunities, especially to education. Increased awareness among people including children through children councils remains important in addressing violence against kids. Let us focus at preventing abuse.

We still have problems that affect the development of children. Some of the problems are divorces, underage pregnancies, beating, family abandonment, conflicts and wars and some laws like the ‘evidence law’ are still unfriendly to children. It is possible to make all places, homes and communities a better place for all children if everyone adult and authorities are committed to observes laws and religion.

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