We Must Protect our Children

(Image rights = ag-east.org)






Date/Location: Friday, June 14, 2013 ; 15:00 to 18:00; Conference Room 3 (NLB) Key Speaker: Tete Antonio(AU Permanent Observer to the UN); Francis Lorenzo (Honorary President of South-South News); Africa Engo (Executive Director of African Action on AIDS)

Attended by: Janice Hiu Wing WONG

Children in Africa are facing    problems such as female genital mutilation and cutting (FGMC), forced marriage, early pregnancy, deprivation of education opportunity, limited access to food and clean water.

FGMC is a particular problem that needs to be addressed. Despite the harm on children and parent’s doubt about the implication of this practice, it remains a common custom with medical personnel carrying out the operation. It is important to eliminate the cultural pressure of exercising this practice and to change the social perception regarding the importance of FGMC. The General Assembly has adopted resolution 67/146 on intensifying the global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations.

United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been ratified by member states 14 years ago, stating clearly children’s political, economic, social, civil, health and cultural rights. There are four general principles in this convention:

  • The right is available to all children without discrimination.
  •  The convention is in the best interest of the children.
  • Children should be given the right to live, survive  and develop.
  • Children’s voice should be heard and considered when making decisions affecting them.

“Youth is not in the future, they are in the present, the future of tomorrow is in the children of today.” These remarks highlight the importance of protecting African Children now from harm social and cultural practices, these acts do not only violate human rights, but also pose harmful impacts on children, which will affect their human development, thus undermine the future economic and social progress of our society.

Edited By: Wayne Dean Doyle

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