DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD (DAC) JUNE 16, Concept Note on the Day of the African Child 2015

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1 DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD (DAC) JUNE 16, 2015 Concept Note on the Day of the African Child 2015 Global Theme: 25 Years after the Adoption of the African Children s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa 1

2 Background June 16, every year, is celebrated across Africa as the Day of the African Child and it is in observance of the 1976, South African-Soweto uprising. During the event, hundreds of black school children in the Soweto Apartheid regime then gather to use the means of advocacy through protesting the inferior quality of their education and demanding their rights to be taught in their own language. While seeking for equal rights opportunity they were unmercifully and brutally gunned down. In doleful measure of the atrocious act against the black school pupils, the heads of states of the African Union met in Abuja Nigeria, and took into consideration the UN Resolution 1290, adopted in 1990 declaring June 16, each year as the Day of the African Child and should be observed by all signatory to the convention annually specially by all member states. Subsequently, the decision came about in order to draw international attention in retrospection of the death of those children and the plight of all African Children. In compliance with this Resolution, the Liberian Government in 1992 took the commitment into consideration celebrating this historic day. The celebration is also intended to clarion call for more attention to be given to issues pertaining to the well-being of the Liberian children. The DAC 2015 is unique in that it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the African Children s Charter or the ACRWC). In selecting the theme, the Committee considered the views of children, who suggested that it should be related to child marriage. Accordingly, the theme for this year s celebration is 25 Years after the Adoption of the African Children s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa. The theme was inspired by a Day of General Discussion on child marriage during the 23rd Ordinary Session of the ACERWC in April 2014, which affirmed the recommendation of children to Member States to enhance their efforts to eliminate child marriage. The Committee s call to action is therefore one of increased, concerted and accelerated effort to end the menace. Since the occurrence of the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia, there are concerns among communities that girls are facing a higher risk of sexual abuse and early marriage due to loss of education and poverty exacerbated by the disaster. Additionally, children who have lost immediate family members are also being stigmatized. Communities say that some orphans and single-parent children are joining the already high number of street children in their fight for survival as they resort to begging. Objective: This year s celebration is intended to gain Government s commitment in allocating appropriate funding for children s related programs and activities for their protection, participation, growth and development taking into consideration the Children s Law. Specific Objectives: Awareness of the rights, capabilities and potential of children and draw attention to the situation of child marriage and other vulnerable/marginalized children; Identify effective mechanisms and strategies for the prevention of Child marriage; 2

3 Engaging Government and Partners to conduct combined actions to ensure the prevention of child marriage; Identify effective mechanisms and strategies for the prevention or elimination of early marriage; National Theme: To be discussed by the working group Itinerary of This Year s Celebration: Activities for this year celebration will commence on 10 th June with a press conference and ends on June 16 with an indoor and outdoor program in each of the 15 counties. The planning committee of DAC 2015 which comprises of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the Children s Representative Forum and Child Protection Actors has resolved to hold this year s official celebration in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County on June 16, Planned Activities For Celebration At National And County Levels: National Level This year, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the Children Representative Forum and the Child Protection Network with support from Key Partners will carry out these activities below in commemoration of the day. The celebration will be held in the15 counties simultaneously. Publicity Radio talk shows featuring The Liberia Children s Representative Forum Child Protection Actors Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Protection The talk shows will be held on various media institutions as follows UNMIL Radio SKY Radio / TV Women Democratic Radio MICAT ELBC Interactive Forum with Students and New Members of the Forum This interactive Forum is intended to give some orientation to the new membership of the Forum relative to the significance of the DAC celebration while at the same time affording the invited 3

4 students the opportunity to know the workings of the Forum and also the history and importance of observing the DAC. Opening National Press Conference Press Conference will be held with stakes holders on activities marking the celebration of the Day of the African Child MOGCSP, UNICEF, CPN Partners (Local & International NGOs), Children s Parliament National Elections On the 15 th of June, the 30 elected national children s delegates from the 15 counties will meet in a special section to elect their national core of officers who will steer the affairs of the National Children s Forum for the next two years. This election will mark the fourth election since the reestablishment of the Forum to reflect a broad-based representation of the country. Initially the Forum was only Monrovia based till February of 2008 when the Forum was expanded to cover the 15 counties. Only Sinoe was not represented due to deplorable road condition. COUNTY LEVEL CELEBRATION District and County Elections Due to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus that ravaged the Nation, the Children s Forum District and County Elections were not held. Now that Ebola has subsided, the Children s Division is in full readiness in concert with the Children s Forum and CPNs to conduct the elections so as to afford Children s Delegates elected to participate in this year s DAC celebration and National Children s Forum Elections in Buchanan which will bring to power new core of officers who will steer the affairs of the Forum for the next two years. Monitoring of County Elections The Ministry of Gender and Development with a representation from Children s Forum will duly monitor all the county elections to ensure that the electoral criteria are applied during the holding of the elections; while at the same time making sure children are not hand pick and brought to the national elections. The presence of the Ministry s delegates during county elections will also curtail the issue of youths participating and getting elected as children to represent their counties. Awareness on the DAC and Interactive Forum The awareness will be held to further provide basic information about the importance of observing the Day of the African Child and the child rights training will be held to better educate students on the significance of the Children s Law. DAC Outreach and recreational activities The outreach will be held to also identify vulnerable children groups by sharing gift items and carrying out awareness on the importance of the day and the Liberian Children s Forum. Targeted Groups include: 4

5 EVD affected children, Street Children, Orphanages, and Disabled Sports Day: The Gender offices in collaboration with the Child Protection Actors represented in county will work with the children s assembly to organize the sport activities. Meanwhile, as customary, The Liberia National Children Forum will meet with Grand Bassa County Children Forum in Soccer and Kick matches. The two matches are intended to follow-up and better acquaint members of the assemblies. County Press Conference The County Press Conference will be organized by the Ministry of Gender County Office in conjunction with the Children Assembly and will feature The County Gender Officer and executives of the County Forum. Appreciation Package The Ministry of Gender pursuant to its quest to keep the Children s Forum vibrant, will lobby with its partners to honorably appreciate the out-going head of the Forum to serve as motivation for the new leadership of the Forum to work harder for the viability of the Forum. This package will also aid the old leadership to keep the Forum in mind while they are out of leadership. The ministry in collaboration with the CPN will collectively decide on the package to be presented to the out-going leadership through their head. In Door Program The Indoor program will be held with students, those physically challenge within the county and children from all walks of life. The program will be organized by the Children Forum in collaboration with the Children s Division of the Ministry of Gender and Development. Venue For The Offical Celebration As a manifestation of Government s policy of decentralization, the official celebration will be held in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County this year. All activities will be duly planned by the children under the guidance and supervision of Ministry of Gender with support from the CPA s represented at the national level and county level. Activities For The Official Program Parade In door program Sports Management And Coordination The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection will play coordination role to ensure that inputs of line Ministries, Agencies and other stake holders are well managed at both national and county levels. 5

6 Reporting The final phase of the activities will be the compilation and submission of a comprehensive report to Government and Partners covering activities of the celebration in all 15 counties. Overall Strategy For Implementation The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the Child Protection Network has resolved to the followings: 1. The Ministry will play a coordination role; 2. Under the guidance and supervision of the gender coordinators and CPAs represented in the counties, the Children s Assemblies will organize and plan the various activities; 3. That the children plan and implement the program and activities at the district and county levels; 4. That the media be involved in the planning and the dissemination of information; 5. Constant monitoring of activities will be made by the children s Division and CPN; 6. Report on the outcome of the celebration activities will be made and distributed to all partners. 6

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