what is the day of the african child?
The Day of the African Child (DAC) was instituted in 1991 by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. At that time, students marched protesting the poor-quality education they received and demanding to be taught in their languages. During the protest hundreds of school children were killed. The Day of the African Child is celebrated to commemorate these children and the brave action they took to defend their rights. The Day of the African Child also serves to celebrate children of Africa as well as inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the challenges that children in Africa face on a daily basis.
The Day of the African Child is celebrated every year on June 16 with a theme identified by the Committee based on children’s views collected from various consultations with children themselves. The Committee also developed Concept Note on the theme of the Day of the African Child to guide the commemoration of the Day in Member States of the African Union.
What happens on the day of the african child?
On June 16 of every year, the Committee, African governments, representatives of children, child and youth-led organisations, NGOs, CSOs, international organisations and other stakeholders gather to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the full realisation of the rights of children in Africa. The Day of the African Child is celebrated at national and continental level. At national level, Member States are required to commemorate the day based on the guidance provided by the Committee through consultations with children and other stakeholders. Moreover, Member States are encouraged to take concrete action including legislative and other measures in relation to the theme of the respective year. At Continental level, the Day of the African Child is celebrated by consultations among children and training for children on the Charter followed by an inter-generational dialogue on 16 June. The Committee and the Participants of the Day of the African Child adopt an outcome statement on the theme following the Continental Celebration on 16 June.
Member States of the African Union submit report to the Committee on the national celebration of the Day of the African Child highlighting the activities of the event as well as the measures that have been undertaken concerning the theme in the commemoration of the Day of the African Child.
Why is the day of the african child important?
The Committee recognizes the importance of the Day of the African Child as an advocacy tool for enhancing the visibility of the Charter as well as promoting children’s rights and welfare in Africa. The Day of the African Child is one of the standing promotional activities of the Committee. During the celebration, The Committee promotes children’s rights and takes stock of the efforts being made to protect and promote children’s rights and welfare across the continent. The Day of the African Child thus calls for serious introspection and commitment toward addressing the numerous challenges faced by children across the continent focusing on the theme of the year.