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The Day of the African Child

Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility

The Day of the African Child is observed every year on 16 June by Member States of the African Union (AU), and its partners to commemorate the 1976 uprisings in Soweto, South Africa. The 1976 protest by black school children was against apartheid-inspired education and it resulted in the public killing of these unarmed young protesters by police officials. It also raises awareness of the continuing need for improvement of education provided to African children.

The theme of The Day of the African Child, 2013 is “Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility”. A number of adverse conditions have exposed children to high risk, including persistent and worsening poverty, malnutrition, no basic amenities, hunger, diseases and death. Africa is the poorest continent on the face of the planet and the most affected by child labour. It has the largest number of out-of-school children and children affected by armed conflict. Over 70% of the population lives and works in extremely poor conditions. Of the 215 million child labourers worldwide, it is estimated that 32% work in Africa alone; mainly in agriculture and in particular the cocoa fields of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

The Day of the African Child brings together everybody working for upholding the rights of the child. It helps them to consolidate their efforts keeping in mind the best interest of the children. This day is also an occasion for governments, international institutions and communities to strengthen their commitments towards addressing plight of marginalised and most vulnerable children of the society like child labourers.

Children behold the potential for a brighter future and must be nurtured and cared. Global March calls upon all its partners round the globe to work with all the stakeholders in a collaborative manner to root child labour out in a sustainable manner and ensure that all children are at school attaining quality and meaningful education, which is their fundamental right.