Friday, June 6, 2014

Day of the African Child - June 16th

In 1976, thousands of black school children took to the streets of Soweto, South Africa. In a march more than half a mile long, they protested the inferior quality of their education and demanded their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down by security forces. In the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured.

To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union).

The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today. The theme for this year's event is Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility. In their concept note on this year's celebration, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child selected this theme to "call attention to harmful social and cultural practices against children, and highlight the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders." Aims of the Day include:
  • highlighting the negative consequences of harmful practices (such as female genital mutilation) on the various rights of children;
  • urging the review of existing legislative and policy frameworks and practices at the national level to combat and eliminate harmful practices against children;
  • undertaking advocacy with African governments, civil society organizations including faith based organizations, the media, and other role players for greater mobilization for the realization of the rights of children against harmful practices; and
  • considering effective strategies for the prevention of harmful practices against children.
THIS YEAR Rallies are being scheduled around the world in conjunction with Day of the African Child and #BringBackOurGirls

JOIN US: June 16th for International Day of the African Child by ORGANIZING marches, vigils and rallies around the world in honor of the Chibok girls. SPREAD THE MESSAGE: Let us use this day to honor the 300 girls that were kidnapped. Let us use this day to tell the world that we will not stop until they are rescued.

For more information, see the Bring Back Our Girls Facebook Page

Sources: UNICEF, ChildFund,

Selected learning materials

Child Trafficking and Sexual ExploitationOne of four modules developed by the Child Labor Research Initiative of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (Iowa, USA), this module contains four highly flexible and adaptable lesson plans appropriate for high school students. Teachers can teach a lesson within 1-2 class periods to introduce the subject or fully integrate the materials into the classroom throughout the year.
Our Homes, Our Lives, Ourselves: A Fun Book to Help Young People Get the Issues Right Concerning Women in Human Settlements DevelopmentA booklet intended to help teenagers get an idea what it is like to be a woman. They do this by reading, thinking and investigating the role of women in various ways. The booklet includes a board game ('The Game of Life') and sections on finance, land, information, networking, and the environment.
Study Guide on the Rights of Children & YouthThis guide introduces the main issues, international standards and protection mechanisms to protect and promote the human rights of children and youth.
International treaties on children's rights:
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