VAC Goals and Resources
Violence against Children and 2020 is a milestone year for children’s rights in Africa as it marks:
Decade for Action to advance the Sustainable Development Goals linked to Agenda 2063
The 30th anniversary of the African Chapter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC)
The midterm review of Africa 2040 Agenda “Fostering an Africa fit for children”
The future of Africa is with its children. Sixty per cent of the population in Africa is under 25. With the rapid changes in the child demographics in Africa, the continent will by 2050 account for 42 per cent of all global births.
Africa’s fast-growing child population presents, , if provided with the right conditions and support, a significant opportunity.
The Office of the Special Representative works in close collaboration with African partners to advance the rights of all children across the continent to enjoy a childhood free from all forms of violence, providing support to the development of legislative and policy developments, and the consolidation of data to advance progress throughout the region.
The SRSG mandate prioritizes three main areas of action that are particularly relevant in the current context of the African Continent: Advocacy for accelerated implementation of SDG target 16.2 and other related SDGs; Ensure that all forms of violence are included in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring that no child is left behind; Amplifying the voices of children, with a particular attention to the most vulnerable.
There have been significant strides made by many African countries to fulfil their legal obligations under Convention on the Rights of the Child and ACRWC and political commitments to implement the recommendations formulated by the UN Study on VAC and the SDGs. We have now many good practices and lessons learnt on Ending Violence Against Children in Africa.
Implementation of the SDG Agenda
Sixteen African countries have submitted VNRs (Benin, Burundi, DRC Congo, Gambia, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia). During the 2020 HLPF, the office organized a VNR Lab with the focus on developing a child-sensitive and child-inclusive SDG national review, in which African representatives shared their practices.
Africa and COVID19
Before the pandemic, the vast majority of African countries were not on track on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Violence against children poses serious socio-economic and public health problems that impact families and communities and can reach across generations. If not addressed, it risks undermining the gains made by rapid economic transformation in many African contexts.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated vulnerability and violence against children in the African continent. The pandemic has thrown millions of families – up to 29 million – further into extreme poverty and affected access to social services. Health systems have diverted attention from immunization programs, sexual and reproductive services and high prevalence conditions such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and TB. Schools have been disrupted, which are not only the only safe space for many girls in Africa, but also the only source of a decent meal for hundreds of thousands. More than 120 million school-going girls were confined away from schools and many of them fear that they may not be able to go back to school.
The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly unforgiving on African girls regardless of their age, social or economic background. But, its effect on girls who have been chronic victims of marginalization, exclusion and discrimination has been disproportionately severe and more likely to have long-lasting and irreversible impacts. Girls with disabilities, girl domestic workers, girls living and/or working on the street and in urban slums, girls in institutional care, and in detention centres and refugee and stateless girls have especially been more severely affected.
SRSG work in Africa
November 2019 - Mission to Mozambique: Special Representative Maalla M'jid commends strong commitment of Mozambique to give high priority to the protection of children from violence
Human Rights Standards
Human Rights Bodies
Country VaC Surveys
2020 Cote Ivoire
Malawi Gender Equality Act (2013)
Partners in action
Civil Society Organizations
D R Congo
Child Helpline 16000
Child Helpline Gambia
African Movement for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect
Child Helpline Lesotho
General Comment no 5 on “State Party Obligations under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Article 1) and systems strengthening for child protection English
Africa Year of Human Rights (2016)
Cross Regional roundtables joint statements