June 16th, the Day of the African Child.

NCCW affirms Sudan’s commitment to all international and regional conventions and treaties

Haffiya Elyas

Khartoum — June 16th is the Day of the African Child. It was first established by the Organization of the African Unity in 1991. The day aims at raising awareness for the situation of children in African, and on the need for continuous improvement in education. It encourages people’s spirit of abundance to share something special with a child in Africa

The theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) 2021 is “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children”. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee), established under Articles 32 and 33 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (the Charter) selected this theme for the commemoration of the DAC in 2021.

(NCCW) affirmed Sudan’s commitment to all international and regional conventions and treaties to achieve the best interests of the children by promoting and activating national legislation, policies, strategies, and programmes that protect children

The National Council for ChildWelfare (NCCW) asserted the importance of creating the appropriate conditions to promote awareness of the protection of children’s rights in an educational, psychological, and social environment.

NCCW is always concentrated on the importance of creating the appropriate conditions to promote awareness of the protection of children’s rights in an educational, psychological, and social environment that encourages initiative and innovation and opens the way for the child to participate actively and provide equal opportunities to all children in the Arab region

It is worth noting that Child rights include the right to survival, development, progression, protection against harmful effects, prevention from mistreatment and attempts to exploit them in any form and guarantee their full participation in the family, social life, and culture.

It is important to identify their problems, needs, and obstacles they face and work on diminishing them to give the Sudanese child the opportunity to be raised in the best circumstances that provide them education and health and helps them to develop and create.

In 2010, Sudan reported to the Committee on the Rights of the Child that “according to the legislative framework in Sudan, any convention ratified by Sudan shall be considered part of the legal framework in the country, and any article in any law that contradicts it should be amended or eliminated, as the Interim National Constitution of the Sudan, 2005, stipulates in article 27, the Bill of Rights.”
Based on the uncertain political situation in Sudan, it is at times difficult to determine which Sudanese legislation is in effect at any particular time. The two main acts relating to children’s rights in Sudan are currently the Child Act (2010), which applies to the country as a whole, and the Child Act (2008) of Southern Sudan. Other statues relating to children include, but are not limited to:

In its 2010 Concluding Observations on the Sudanese government’s report, the Committee on the Rights of the Child was generally concerned that the ongoing armed conflicts in the State have had a highly negative impact on children across the country and on the implementation of the CRC as a whole in the State. In particular, they were concerned with the implementation of Article 12.6, in that the views of all children, especially girls, are not respected, nor are they taken into account in decisions that affect them. Sudan does have specific legislation in place which allows a child to institute legal proceedings through his or her legal guardian and to provide testimony, but no legislation specifically protects the voice of the child. The Committee was concerned with the prevalence of physical and psychological abuse occurring in families that are not adequately monitored, reported on, or addressed. They also raised the issue of the State’s treatment of “vagrant” or street children.

NCCW renewed the call for the adoption of the year 2020 year for children in Sudan and affirmed the commitment of the State, civil society leaders, and national, regional, and international organizations and institutions operating in Sudan in children’s issues and raise awareness to become a priority for the comprehensive and sustainable protection, care and development of the Sudanese child

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) believes that budget allocations for children should be given priority attention because; If internationally recognized treaties and conventions calling for improvements in the wellbeing and rights of children are to be more than just promises, sufficient budgetary allocation needs to be given to areas that impact on children’s lives Despite improvements, Africa’s children continue to suffer from poor nutrition, inadequate health services and a lack of basic education, all of which require investment Trends or changes in budgetary allocations for children serve as proxy measures of the extent to which governments are truly committed to realizing the rights of the child.

Key issues for consideration

Africa’s Agenda for Children 2040 emanates from the conclusions of the High-Level Conference to assess the status of the rights of children in Africa 25 years after the adoption of the Charter, which was held in Addis Ababa, from 20-21 November 2015, as part of the Commemoration activities of the 25th Anniversary of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. During the Conference challenges and successes of the endeavors employed to promote and protect the rights of the child in Africa were assessed with a view of guiding the future efforts to promote and protect the rights and welfare of children in Africa.

Aligned with the African Union Agenda 2063, Africa’s Agenda for Children is in line with Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063: An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children; and therefore focuses on children and youth as the drivers of Africa’s Renaissance. The document is also informed by AU legal and policy frameworks.

The Agenda sets out ten aspirations, to be achieved by 2040, in five implementation phases that are 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035, and 2040. State Parties are expected to align their national implementation plan with their commitments and obligations under Agenda 2063, the Sustainable Developments Goals, and other international treaties.

The ten aspirations are as follow:

Aspiration 1: The African Children’s Charter, as supervised by the African Children’s Committee, provides an effective continental framework for advancing children’s rights.

Aspiration 2: An effective child-friendly national legislative, policy, and institutional framework is in place in all Member States.

Aspiration 3: Every child’s birth and other vital statistics are registered.

Aspiration 4: Every child survives and has a healthy childhood.

Aspiration 5: Every child grows up well-nourished and with access to the necessities of life.

Aspiration 6: Every child benefits fully from quality education.

Aspiration 7: Every child is protected against violence, exploitation, neglect, and abuse.

Aspiration 8: Children benefit from a child-sensitive criminal justice system.

Aspiration 9: Every child is free from the impact of armed conflicts and other disasters or emergencies.

Aspiration 10: African children’s views matter.

The Committee is looking forward to presenting the Agenda to the Member States which eventually own the document for its full implementation. The Committee will also closely work with partners to ensure wider dissemination of this document.

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