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Children mark the Day of the African Child

By Sarah Kisakye

Added 16th June 2018 11:45 AM

Children from various schools have given their different interpretations on what child rights are, and what should be done by the government and other stakeholders in observing children's rights.

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Children from various schools have given their different interpretations on what child rights are, and what should be done by the government and other stakeholders in observing children's rights.

The origin of the African Child Day

By Sarah Kisakye

The Day of the African Child was instituted for the first time in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa.

During that time students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages. However, many student protesters were shot dead by police officials of the then apartheid government.

Since then, the OAU and its successor, the AU, have used the Day of the African Child to remember these children, to celebrate children in Africa as well as to inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the challenges that children in Africa face on a daily basis.

 

The day is also commemorated to remind adult stakeholders that children are change agents in their own right and therefore platforms must be created to allow them space to express their views and opinions.

"It is important that children are listened to as they discuss issues that affect them in their day-to-day lives as we have witnessed today. Children have expressed concerns over the current kidnapp cases, increasing child marriages, bribing of police officers who handle child abuse cases and violence in schools and at home," noted Catherine Ntabadde who is UNICEF's communications specialist.

Children from various schools have given their different interpretations on what child rights are, and what should be done by the government and other stakeholders in observing children's rights. This was at the children's symposium in Kibaale held ahead of African Child Day on Saturday.

 

Several children noted rights to food, medical care and education among their rights. Tayebwa Trevor Alex, a Primary seven pupil from Duhaga Boys Primary School explains that child rights involve everything to do with good upbringing of a child.

"I would like the government to give priority to disabled children like myself." says George Serunkuma a Primary five pupil from Sacred heart Primary School in Kawempe.

The 2018 celebrations of the Day of the African child under the theme "Leave No Child Behind "will also be held in Kibaale District, on Saturday 16th June 2018, where the 1st lady Janet Kataha Museveni who is also the Minister for education is expected as chief guest.

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