Children’s Plight Under Spotlight

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK – Today Namibia joins the rest of the continent in commemorating the Day of the African Child that takes stock of the unending plight of children.

This year, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Sirkka Ausiku, said the day will be commemorated under the theme, “Child Participation – Children to be Heard and Seen”.

The theme, according to Ausiku, is relevant because “it is time to give the children a platform to voice their needs, rights and open forum to discuss their concerns”.

In Namibia, the Government has created a platform – the Children’s Parliament – where children are able to bring out issues affecting them, she added.

“During the sessions, children have been able to come up with motions and expect the leaders to do something,” the Ausiku said.

The idea to commemorate the day is to bring together millions of youth and children to call on political leaders to honour their commitments and eradicate poverty as well as improve their education, health, equality and protection for all the African children.

Namibia has made strides in addressing some of the concerns surrounding children.

“We have the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Policy and the national plan of action and we are doing well as government,” Ausiku said.

Summarising the services available to children, the ministry said the immunisation coverage of children under the age of five was over 80 percent and about 73?

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