Africa

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

Governance Structures

African Union Social Affairs Commission

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Human Rights Standards

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa 

Human Rights Bodies

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

Country VaC Surveys

2020 Cote Ivoire

2020 Kenya

Strategic Developments

Mapping Children on the Move within Africa

Africa’s Agenda for Children 2040 

AU Agenda 2063

The African Report on Violence against Children

National Plan of Action to end Violence Against Women and Children in Tanzania (2016)

SRSG report Protecting children from harmful practices in plural legal systems, with a special emphasis in Africa

Malawi Gender Equality Act (2013)

Report on the Pan-African Conference on Celebrating Courage and Overcoming Harmful Traditional Practices (2011)

AU Campaign to End Child Marriage

African Partnership to End Violence against Children

International Policy Conference on the Rights of the Child

Report of the 15th Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

All reports African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child

General Comment on the Right to a Name and Nationality

General Comment on Article 30 of the Africa Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Progress towards prohibiting all corporal punishment in Africa

Partners in action

United Nations

Economic Commission for Africa

UNICEF Regional Office West and Central Africa

UNICEF Regional Office Eastern and Southern Africa

Civil Society Organizations

African Child Policy Forum

Fundação para o Desenvolvimento da Comunidade

Fundação Joaquim Chissano

African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Helplines

Algeria

Je t'ecoute 3033

Botswana

Childline Botswana

Burkina Faso

Allo 116

Cote d'Ivoire

Allo Enfance en Détresse

D R Congo

Tukinge Watoto

Egypt

Child Helpline 16000

Sierra Leone

EEHRSL

Ethiopia

Enhancing Child Focused Activities - (ECFA) Ethiopia

Gambia

Child Helpline Gambia

Ghana

African Movement for the Prevention of Child Abuse & Neglect

Guinea

AGUIAS 116

Kenya

Childline Kenya

Lesotho

Child Helpline Lesotho

Madagascar

Ligne 147

Malawi

Tithandizane Helpline 116

Mauritania

AMSME

Mauritius

Child Helpline Mauritius

Mozambique

Linha Fala Criança

Namibia

Lifeline/Childline Namibia

Nigeria

Cece Yara Foundation

HDI Child Helpline

Senegal

Allo 116

Sierra Leone

Childhelp Sierra Leone

Somalia

WAAPO Child Hotline (Short-Call Helpline)

South Africa

Childline South Africa

Swaziland

Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse - SWAGAA

Sudan

Child Helpline 9696

Tanzania

C-Sema

Togo

Allo 1011

Uganda

Sauti 116

Zambia

Childline Zambia

Zimbabwe

Childline Zimbabwe

Political Declarations

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

Final Comunique (English French)- 52nd Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of the Heads of State - (2017)

Peace and Security Council of the African Union declaration on “Ending Child Marriages” (2017)

Africa Year of Human Rights (2016)

Addis Ababa Declaration on Ending Child Marriage in Africa - African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) (2014)

African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa (2014)

Resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the prevention of attacks and discrimination against persons with albinism (2013)

Call for Accelerated Action on the Implementation of the Plan of Action Towards Africa Fit for Children (2012)

Munyonyo Declaration on Juvenile Justice in Africa (2011)

Declaration and Plan of Action - Pan-African Forum for Children (2001)

Cross Regional roundtables joint statements

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2019)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2018)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2017)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2016)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2015)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2014)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2013)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2012)

Joint Statement round table of regional organisations and institutions on the protection of children from all forms of violence (2011)