Day of the African Child: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030

New York, 16 June 2017 - The Special Representative welcomes the 2017 theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) on accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for all children in Africa by 2030.

Over two years ago, the global sustainable development agenda was unanimously adopted by Member States of the United Nations to uphold the rights, dignity and worth of each and every child. The vision of the Agenda is aligned with the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063 and the African Agenda for Children 2040 which seeks to invest in children and ensure that every child grows up free from all forms of violence and develops to their full potential. 

“African children are protected by a very sound normative framework through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, its Optional Protocols and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Yet, despite much progress over the past decade, violence in all its forms persists against boys and girls, and in some instances is socially and culturally accepted. Sadly it constitutes a harsh daily reality for millions of children in their homes, schools, communities, and in institutions designed for their care and protection, including in the form of harmful practises. While the situation is sad and available data very daunting, the Day of the African Child is an important opportunity to reflect on the richness of African society and values and build upon the great work that is being done in many countries across the continent to address this issue and realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda, particularly target 16.2”, said Santos Pais.

A commitment to eliminate violence against children is rooted in pan-African efforts to progressively realize children’s rights and improve the wellbeing of the region’s most precious resource- its children. “Across the continent more and more countries are ensuring that children are legally protected, and have developed an all-inclusive national strategy or action plan to end violence against children. Strengthening national systems of protection are being framed by experiences from the local level and engaging families, children, community leaders and chiefs, religious leaders, educators, law makers and enforcers, health care and social service providers and other crucial actors in a sustained and meaningful way. Many countries are also improving data collection and research to end the invisibility of violence, challenge its social acceptance, and help understand its causes. National household surveys have been conducted in many African countries and more and more nations are strengthening their research capacities and administrative data systems to capture children’s exposure to violence to inform national action”, said the SRSG. 

The Special Representative welcomes the theme for this years’ DAC and looks forward to working closely with the AU, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) and all partners to continue to create and maintain safe and conducive environments for children to enjoy their right to a life free from violence and reach their full potential.

2017 Day of the African Child Concept Note:

7th International Policy Conference on the African Child:

African Report on Violence against Children: