Outcome Statement of the First African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa November 2015 Preamble Unified in our deep concern

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1 Outcome Statement of the First African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa November 2015 We, the Heads of State and Governments, together with Ministers in Charge of Gender, Traditional Affairs and Children, First Ladies, UN Agencies, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations, young people, girls and young women who have experienced child marriage, traditional and religious leaders, gathered in Lusaka, Zambia from November 2015 for the First African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa, hosted by the African Union and Government of the Republic of Zambia. Over two days we successfully took stock of progress made to end child marriage across the African continent, identified ongoing challenges, shared evidence and best practices, and renewed our shared commitment to end child marriage and other harmful practices in Africa in furtherance of the Africa Common Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa. Preamble Unified in our deep concern that child marriage is a violation of rights, harmful socialcultural traditional practice, which is endemic in many parts of Africa, which negatively impacts on women and girls personal development, future opportunities, education, health and wellbeing, with detrimental consequences for families, communities and nations at large; Recognising that the elimination of child marriage is a prerequisite for the realization of the aspirations of the African Union Agenda 2063 and for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030; Mindful of Article 21(2) of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which requires that child marriage and the betrothal of girls and boys shall be prohibited, and effective action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify the minimum age of marriage to be 18 years and to make registration of all marriages in an official registry compulsory; as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of Children (Maputo Protocol); the Additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People s Rights on the Rights of Women; and the African Youth Charter; Recalling the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa, formally adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of States and Government in June 2015; Convinced that all stakeholders and partners, communities and young people themselves, have a role to play in ending child marriage and other harmful practices and that the time for concerted and coordinated action is now; 1

2 We, participants at the First African Girls Summit, hereby commit to: Redouble our efforts to eliminating child marriage, now but not later than 2030; Furthermore redouble our efforts to eliminate all Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM); Facilitate a social movement in our countries at local, regional and national levels, with the participation of the youth, traditional and religious leaders, community leaders, government and CSO partners, parents and elders on ending child marriage; Employ focussed interventions and measures to keep girl children in school beyond the age of 18; Endorse the attached Annex of recommendations for action to be undertaken by the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA), collectively as stakeholders and partners, Member States and the AU Commission; We urge all partners to collaborate towards the swift implementation of the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa. We recognise and support the special mandates and roles of the AU Goodwill Ambassador and the Special Rapporteur on Ending Child Marriage in giving impetus to this effort. We recognise the leadership role of the African Union and invite its policy organs to consider and endorse this outcome statement at an upcoming session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in We express our gratitude to the Government and People of the Republic of Zambia and the African Union for hosting the First African Girls Summit. We also express our appreciation to the Government of Canada, UK Department for International Development, UNFPA, UNICEF, other funding partners and civil society partners for their support in funding, technical support and mobilization towards this successful Summit. 2

3 ANNEX to the Outcome Statement of the First African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa, November 2015 Committing to work with the African Union Commission to operationalise the Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Common African Commission on Ending Child Marriage, we will: A. Recommendations for the Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) Update the OAFLA Strategic Plan to formally include Ending Child Marriage ; Implement the Updated OAFLA Strategic Plan at Continental level and include closer collaboration with Key AU Specialised Technical Committees such as Gender, Health, Education, and Youth; Implement the Updated OAFLA Strategic Plan at Global Level and include closer collaboration with Key Processes such as the UN Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) especially the First CSW in the SDGs era; B. Recommendations for collective actions as stakeholders and partners: Advocate for appropriate development, enactment and implementation of legislation and policies that effectively prohibit and prevent child marriage, including in humanitarian contexts; Promote the Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa and help to popularise the Common African Position; Encourage and support AU Member States to launch national campaigns to end child marriage with clear follow-up actions and commitments; Encourage AU Member States to develop, strengthen and effectively implement national strategies and programmes to end child marriage; Encourage AU Member States to collect, analyse, disseminate and use age- and sexdisaggregated data on child marriage and to strengthen national mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation towards greater accountability; Develop and implement initiatives with communities, the media, Civil Society Organisations, the UN System, development partners, foundations and the private sector to increase awareness and understanding of child marriage; Develop multi-sectoral partnerships to mobilise resources for national and community level initiatives to eliminate child marriage; Facilitate the dissemination of good practices and evidence on effective policies and programmes to end child marriage; Strengthen our partnerships with communities and particularly with youth-led organisations, traditional and religious leaders, associations of men and boys, to empower young people; 3

4 C. Recommendations for all AU Member States: Translate the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa into action by establishing, funding and implementing comprehensive national action plans to end child marriage and other harmful practices; Accelerate the implementation of existing AU recommendations and policies relating to education, social protection, birth registration, and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, which are all important for the well-being of girls at risk of child marriage; Adopt and enforce legislation that sets the minimum age of marriage at 18, and that effectively prohibits, prevents, punishes and redresses child marriage, including cross-border movement of girls for child marriage purposes; Invest in initiatives that empower all girls, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable to equip them with training, skills, information, as well as create safe spaces and support networks necessary for productive living; Provide girls who are already married with options, including funding support to have a second chance for schooling, employment and livelihood skills, and offering recourse from violence in the home; In line with AU Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals, monitor progress towards all continental and national commitments relating to ending child marriage, harmful traditional practices, and the empowerment and participation of women and girls; Ensure that ending child marriage remains high on the political agenda at global, continental, regional and national levels through a multi-sectorial approach; Provide free and quality health (including reproductive health such as prenatal, child birth, post-natal, and family planning services), education and other services for all survivors of child marriage, including the expansion of social protection and child rights services; Provide gender equality and engage boys and men in ending child marriage; Engage and ensure meaningful participation of youth leaders and young decisionmakers, particularly adolescent girls, in ending child marriage; Create platforms and safe spaces for engagement of and leadership for young people including girls and young women who have experienced child marriage to be leaders and champions of this campaign; Removing all structural, economic, legal and cultural barriers for girls to have equal access to adequate health, education, justice and other services; D. Recommendations for the AU Commission: Promote and monitor the implementation of the Plan of Action on the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa by AU Member States; Ensure the integration of strategies to reduce child marriage into existing African Union initiatives that seek to protect and improve the lives of girls and women in Africa, including the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality 4

5 (CARMMA), the African Women s Decade and the African Youth Decade Plan of Action; Continue to build consensus, facilitate information-sharing and partnerships, promote policy dialogue and develop policy guidance for Member States; Conduct fact-finding missions and report on progress to the requisite AU policy organs with recommendations on how to support AU Member States in their quest to end child marriage; Adopt engagement plans and approaches for partnerships with key stakeholder constituencies such as CSOs, religious and cultural leaders and institutions, and young people; Establish a high level policy mechanism for championing, sharing best practices and monitoring best practices, building on the successful model of Aids Watch Africa (AWA); Monitor progress towards the goal of ending child marriage and other harmful practices as part of the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. 5

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