Joint Statement of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence against Children
New York, 30th November 2020 - On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the ACERWC and the UNSRSG-VAC have issued a joint statement on the pervasive and entrenched nature of Violence Against Children (VAC) in Africa.
The joint statement, while recognizing the positive trends, identifies the extreme forms of violence and abuse that African children are facing routinely.
The statement highlights the diverse manifestations of VAC, including corporal punishment, sexual abuse, neglect, child trafficking, sale of children, child labor, child marriage, female genital mutilation, infanticide, online exploitation, torture, and inhuman treatment, and recruitment into armed groups. The statement also discusses how existing challenges are further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Drawing inspiration from the ACERWC’s Guiding Note on mainstreaming the rights and welfare of children in COVID 19 response, the Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda for Children (Agenda 2040), the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Agenda for Action developed by the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on Violence against Children, the joint statement presents concrete measures for African countries to undertake.