Learners and community members at Tsintsabis in Oshikoto were recently sensitised on the significance of African Child Day and why it is celebrated by African countries.
The occasion was all part of an awareness campaign undertaken by the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service to remind learners of the continuous need to improve education for African children.
The aim of the event was to encourage children’s understanding of the day, thus this year’s theme ‘Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights.’
It was noted that war and conflict put children in situations where their rights are violated, including the right to life, the right to live in a family environment, the right to health, the right to education and the right to survival and development.
The Day of the African Child has been celebrated on June 16 every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity to honour those who participated in the Soweto uprising of 1976.
“New trends in armed conflicts in Africa have resulted in new challenges for the protection of children, whereas armed groups target both boys and girls for recruitment. International human rights law and the Geneva conventions prohibit these practices …”
Oshikoto’s regional youth officer, Selly Mudhika, informed the gathering that attended the late celebration of the special day.
He added that conflicts affect children in that they may be subjected to killing or maiming as civilians, despite taking no active role in conflicts.
“It is considered inhumane to perpetuate violence on civilians including children, in particular murder, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture,” stressed Mudhika.