Joining Forces

Children’s participation is key to creating an Africa fit for children

For Immediate Release
13th July 2022
Lusaka

Zambia is hosting the African Union Midyear Heads of States Coordination Meeting from the 14th to the 17th of July. Alongside this meeting, the Joining Forces Alliance in partnership with UNICEF Zambia, the Ministry of Community Development and ECOSOCC are also hosting an Africa Children’s Parliament to take place on the 15th and 16th of July 2022.
The Children’s Parliament is a child-friendly space created to allow children to participate in the national, regional and continental decision-making processes. This particular space will give children from seven countries, an opportunity to remind governments of their commitments and aspirations, which they have signed under the agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children.

In 2016, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child established a 25-year Agenda namely, “Agenda 2040: Fostering an Africa fit for children” with the main objective of restoring the dignity of the African child by assessing the achievements and challenges faced towards the effective implementation of the African Children’s Charter.
However, despite promises to ensure that the rights of children are fully protected, children across Africa continue to face various challenges that hinder them from achieving their rights to development, survival, protection and participation. The situation has been made worse by challenges arising from issues of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

To achieve the Agenda 2040 aspirations and create an Africa fit for children, there is an urgent need for all decision-makers across the continent to ensure that children are actively involved in decision-making regarding issues that affect their well-being. We, therefore, call for the creation of spaces for children to voice their views and experiences on the issues that affect them such as:

  • Harmful practices affecting children (child marriage, corporal punishment and other forms of physical and emotional harm)
  • Climate Change
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Social Protection (access to basic needs such as food, shelter, clothes or access to education, health services, birth registration and others)
  • Children’s Right to Participation and voice

We believe it is important to work with children if we are to understand their problems, solutions to these and what actions are needed for positive change. We also want to ensure that children are seen and heard during the meetings on progress made by leaders towards creating an Africa fit for Children. We believe that children are the experts in their own lives, and they are best placed to identify their needs and the challenges they face.

In conclusion, we are calling for commitments from African Leaders during the 4th Africa Union Mid-Year Coordinating meeting to enhance children’s participation in all matters that affect their wellbeing.

For more information, please contact:

  • Hermis Maunda – Email: hermis.maunda@savethechildren.org or Call: +260 979597429
  • Priscilla Chama – Email: pchama@childfund.org or mobile 260 977450009
  • Petronella Chindumba – Email: petronella.chindumba@sos-zambia.org or call:+260967892901
  • Barbara Hamoonga – Email: Barbara.Hamoonga@plan-international.org or Call: +260977425015
  • Kambani Phiri – Email: Kambani_Phiri@wvi.org or Call: +0970937954

Notes to the Editor:

In 2017, the six largest child-focused agencies: ChildFund International, Plan International, Save the Children International, SOS Children’s Villages Zambia, Terre des Hommes International Federation and World Vision International joined forces. We aim to use our collective power to accelerate change to secure children their rights and end violence against them. We will pilot and scale innovative and effective approaches worldwide and be driven by the voices and needs of children.

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