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The Day of the African Child

16 June 2011 Theme: All Together for Urgent Action in favour of Street Children. 1
Photo by UNICEF Cote dIvoire

The Day of the African Child - 16 June 2011 UNICEF Country Office Reports
he Day of the African Child (DAC) commemorates a 1976 march in Soweto, South Africa, when thousands of African school children took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured. To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the DAC has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. Each year, a different theme for the DAC is endorsed by the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). The 2011 theme is: All Together for Urgent Action in favour of Street Children. This Report, therefore, captures the DAC activities as per reports and some photos submitted by 25 UNICEF Country Offices in Africa. These are, 12 from WCARO (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, The Gambia, Togo and Senegal) and 13 from ESARO (Burundi, Comoros, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). This Report also includes a press release jointly prepared by the UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA/WCARO/ESARO/MENARO/NYHQ, as well as statements from Agnes Kabore Ouattara, Acting Chairperson, ACERWC, and from Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral on Violence against Children. Though the DAC theme was specifically on street children, some country offices enlarged their focus to cover a range of child protection issues, such as HIV and AIDS in Swaziland, OVCs in Ethiopia and programmes to counter outmigration of children in Uganda. Others enjoyed the presence of the Head of State during the main DAC event. Innovative approaches were incorporated into the DAC celebrations. For instance, in Burundi, UNICEF engaged two national telecom companies to explore the option of using SMS to send advocacy messages. In Niger, TV reports on the Declaration of the Children of Niger gave new space for children to be advocates, and to monitor their leaders commitments. In Senegal, 60 juvenile detainees, aged between 13 and 18, at the House of Detention and Correction (Mac) Hann in Dakar, were invited to the DAC celebrations. In Zambia, UNICEF staff joined the government and CSOs in a Night Walk in Lusaka that entailed reaching out to street children in the night, talking to them and giving them food. A number of countries posted positive results following their DAC events. In Benin, a detailed situation analysis was presented on the enforcement of existing laws, caring for children in a family environment and the provision of education and vocational training. In Burkina Faso, commitments were made by mayors and parliamentarians to support children living on the street, while in The Gambia, the Department of Social Welfare made assurances to redouble its effort to address the street children challenge. In Gabon, the government agreed to conduct a national study on the street children phenomenon and which would culminate to the development of a national strategy. Further, in Togo, the government representatives committed themselves to be monitored all year round on the street children issue and a follow up report produced during the next DAC. In Zimbabawe, a strong alliance was built with new UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for East and Southern Africa Region Oliver Mtukudzi, who joined the DAC events. In Cote dIvoire, the DAC celebrations breathed a fresh air to more than 500 children who had fun for the first time in the wake of months of post-election violence.

The media was also instrumental in shaping the DAC agenda and creating awareness among the masses. Media panel discussions, such in Niger, Togo, South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique, not only included the representatives of various institutions, but also children, and more importantly, street children. All the country offices noted good visibility either in the local, national or international media, and in some cases the DAC events were broadcasted Live, as in the case of Burundi, Ethiopia and Malawi.

Theme of the Day of the African Child - 2012

The ACERWC has already adopted the theme of the DAC for 2012 as follows: The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Benin

he UNICEF Benin Country Office commemorated the Day of the African Child (DAC) on 16 June 2011. The day was observed through the performance of songs by childrens groups, the delivery of speeches and dissemination of leaflets, as well as advocacy activities involving top executives representing various child protection initiatives and organisations. Three panel discussions between street children and child protection stakeholders were also held in Cotonou. 50 key representatives and over 150 children, among them 30 street children, were present during the DAC celebrations. They included, UNICEF Representative Dr. Souleymane Diallo, Right to Play, Plan Benin, the Technical Central Assistance Bureau of the European Union, IPEC/ILO Programme and Terre des Hommes, the acting Minister in Charge of Family Affairs in Benin, and Ms. Madina Sphou together with Mr. Cyprien Yanclo of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The event also drew participation from child protection actors, religious and traditional leaders. Consequently, there was good radio and TV prime time coverage, while the print media accorded adequate visibility for the DAC. Innovation: The panel discussion between the street children and various stakeholders. Overall Results: UNICEF experienced good interaction and fruitful discussions between children and adults, which led to specific recommendations. A detailed situation analysis was presented on the enforcement of existing laws, caring for children in a family environment and the provision of education and vocational training. Lessons learned: Good organization leads to success, with a focus on key points.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Burkina Faso

two-part Day of the African Child (DAC) celebration was held in Burkina Faso. The first activity was held on 16 June 2011, while the second was held on 28 and 29 July 2011.

The 16 June 2011 event was held in Komki-Ipala, Kadiogo Province in Central Burkina Faso, to mobilize all actors working to improve the welfare of children and combine efforts to tackle and overcome the difficulties that street children face. The ceremony, which was laced with speeches, was attended by the Minister of Social Action and National Solidarity, the Minister of National Education and Literacy, the Governor of the Central Region, Members of Parliament for Kadiogo Province, the Mayor of the Municipality of Komki-Ipala and the President of the National Childrens Parliament. The NGOs also delivered a strong message on the need to resolve social problems by targeting the most vulnerable social groups, including children living on the streets, to promote justice, fairness, good governance and transparency in order to ensure stability in Burkina Faso. Food and cheques were provided to families and care centres for children. The event increased awareness on the challenges being experienced by children living on the streets, with the aim of advocating for urgent action for their protection. The UNICEF Burkina Faso Deputy Representative and Officer-in-Charge Ms. Sylvana Nzirorera pledged to hold a national forum on the issue of street children in Burkina Faso. The first National Advocacy Forum on Street Children was subsequently held on 28 and 29 July 2011, at Hotel Laico in Ouagadougou, to bring to the attention of all stakeholders the increasing phenomenon and problems confronting children living and working on the streets. Suitable approaches to assist these children, their rehabilitation and reinsertion into their families and communities were discussed. Traditional, religious and community leaders were mobilized to engage parents, families and communities on their responsibilities to child rights, especially with regards to children who have reasons to be pushed into the streets. In his song composed specifically for the Forum, 32-year-old famous Burkinabe singer Floby, who used to live on the streets, said, Being a street child is not a fatality. A documentary produced by Terre des Hommes was screened, while a short film produced with children by the NGO Camera and Consorts and a documentary on children living in the streets, produced by the Coalition of Members Supporting Children and Young People on the Street (CIJER), were also shown. Both were produced with support from UNICEF. 160 participants were in attendance during the Forum, including, Ms. Clmence Traor, Minister for Social Action and National Solidarity; Mr. Rock Marc Christian Kabor, Speaker of Parliament; Ms. Aissata Sidibe, President of the Parliamentarian Commission for Child Rights; His Majesty Kupediel, traditional leader from Eastern Burkina Faso; Educational Action Service (AEMO); Directorate of Special Education (DES); CIJER, (a coalition made up of 10 organizations including Red Cross Burkina Faso, ATD/Quart Monde, Samusocial Burkina Faso and REMAR Burkina Faso); Islamic community; mayors; child parliamentarians; acting UN Resident Coordinator, UNICEF and CSOs.

A number of dissemination tools were produced. These included, films - Enfance Vole by Terre des Hommes; Service DUrgence by Camera Consorts and Sortir de la Rue, Cest Possible! by CIJER. Also, a UNICEF speech was published in a national newspaper, while a press release was uploaded onto the UNICEF Burkina Faso website. Posters were produced by children on the issue of street children during a workshop organized by Camera Consorts and were subsequently displayed during the Forum. With UNICEF support, the 2008 Burkina Faso law on Child Trafficking and related issues, including begging, was edited by MASSN and distributed to participants at the Forum. The national newspaper Sidwaya published a two-page article on 1 August 2011, while the national radio and television broadcaster, Burkina Faso Radio and Television (RTB), covered the Forum. Innovation: There were several moving personal testimonies made by children who used to live on the streets. A song was also written for the Forum by singer Floby. Overall Results: Leaders of the Muslim community committed to continue with advocacy at all levels to achieve the goals of the reform of Koranic schools and to ensure general awareness of parents and teachers on the Korans teachings on child rights, including the right to education. The parliamentarians pledged to advocate for better budget allocation for the ministries in charge of Social Affairs and Education. We will also consider favorably any bills related to the issue of children on the streets, said Hon. Ms. Aissata Sidibe, President of the Parliamentarian Commission for Child Rights. Commitments to support children living on the street (education, training programmes and access to social services) were made by mayors and parliamentarians. Lessons Learned: The Forum was the first of its kind in Burkina Faso, and will therefore pave the way for future coordinated interventions and actions both at the villages of origin from where many street children come from, and in emphasising family responsibility in the reinsertion programmes for those already on the street.


he UNICEF Burundi Country Office held a number of separate events in June 2011 to mark the Day of the African Child (DAC). The official celebrations to mark the DAC were held in Cankuzo, in the east of the country, where about 3,000 people, including the President of Burundi, members of the government, members of parliament, the Governor of the Cankuzo Province, UNICEF Representative a.i, and other officials, were in attendance. This event was organised in partnership with the Ministry of National Solidarity, Human Rights and Gender (MNSHRG) and the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB). A sensitization workshop for street children and a drama contest by street children were held at Butetere, Cit des Jeunes Don Bosco, in Bujumbura city, on 11 June 2011. Up to 90 children, including 80 supported by local NGOs and10 others from the streets, were present. The event was graced by the MNSHRG, the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) and representatives of NGOs. The second event - a press conference - was used as a platform for wider dissemination on DAC to the populace. Over 40 people attended this event at the UN Information Centre, in Bujumbura city, on 15 June 2011. In addition, two Director Generals from two ministries, an African Union Representative a.i. in Burundi, the UNICEF Chief of Protection, and the president of a civil society organizations umbrella body for street children (PIESR), participated and fielded questions from the media. The third event - a workshop - was organised on 16 June 2011, at Rehoboth Hotel and market place in Gitega and attended by 78 people from various government ministries and delegates representing NGOs, as well as partners such as the MNSHRG and PIESR. The multi-pronged workshop focused on the results from two surveys on street children in Burundi, the sensitization of the community on issues pertaining to street children and an advocacy session for the adoption of a draft national strategy for the prevention and

fight against the street children phenomenon. Further, about 500 people attended and watched street children perform a series of dramas during a theatre performance. In Butetere, Cit des Jeunes Don Bosco, Bujumbura city, a series of events were held on 18 June 2011. 550 children and 50 adults were involved in festive activities for street children, which included dances, games, songs and music. These events were organised in collaboration with MNSHRG, MYSC and the national NGOs. Also, on 18 June 2011, Radio Scolaire Nderagakura broadcasted a Live programme on the lives of street children animated by a child journalist trained by UNICEF. 13 people participated in the programme, including the President of the Burundi League of Youths and a member of the National Commission of Human Rights. The country office produced press releases, TV and radio spots, UNICEF-sponsored TV news reports and speeches, and participated in interviews with media that realized good visibility in the public and private media. Innovation: Initiated contacts with two national telecom companies to explore the option of using SMS to send advocacy messages. Though time was too short to complete the process during the 2011 DAC, both companies expressed their willingness to partner with UNICEF (one of which is ready to partner at no cost to UNICEF) for similar events/campaigns. Overall Results: Better awareness among the media and the general public on the situation of street children in Burundi, as well as on the ongoing process towards the adoption and implementation of a national strategy on the street children phenomenon following its wide support. Lesson Learned: Need to encourage partners to initiate the preparation process much earlier.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Comoros

he UNICEF Comoros Country Office marked the Day of the African Child (DAC) on 16 June 2011 at the national level with a ceremony held at the Grande Comore, and attended by over 200 people.

The ceremony, which witnessed the presentation of speeches and skits, was attended by the ministers of National Education, Foreign Affairs and Interior, the Commissioner of Education of the Autonomous Island of Ngazidja, officers of the Ministry of National Education, the Commission in Education and the

Association of Ngazidja Ngoshawo. The ceremony was also graced by representatives from UNICEF, WHO, UNDP and the Embassy of France, as well as parents, teachers and children. Other activities conducted in the field included the preparation of a status report on the management of children in urban areas, conferences on the situation of vulnerable children in urban areas and the delivery of gifts to children in school and those out of school. Further, activities held in other parts of Grande Comore in Dimani Oichili comprised information and awareness workshops, interviews, conferences, discussions and field visits. Field activities took place from 22 to 30 June 2011 alongside the Ministry of Education and the Association of Ngoshawo, to discuss the situation of vulnerable children and the role of the State, parents, teachers and communities, among others. UNICEF collaborated with the Ministry of Education, the Education Commission and the Association of Ngazidja Ngoshawo to realise the success during the DAC initiatives. To ensure media coverage, UNICEF produced TV spots, as well as participated in radio, TV and newspaper interviews that involved the UNICEF Representative and the administrator in charge of the Child Protection Programme. As a result, the three major newspapers of the Comoros, Alwatwan, the Gazette and Al Balad, as well as the national TV and radio, the community radio station Oichili and ADCS Mitsamiouli, and Radio Indian Ocean Mkazi, gave good visibility to the DAC commemorations. Radio and TV programmes were broadcasted throughout June 2011. Overall Results: Awareness was created through field work, outreaches and conferences. Government officials were also sensitised on the situation of street children in the urban areas of the Comoros, which was growing due to increasing poverty. The government launched an appeal to grant every child an opportunity and entitlement to ensure they reach adulthood in good health, peace and dignity. The Minister of Education promised to improve the system and implement a socio-political educational programme. Lessons Learned: It would take more effort and field work with the involvement of children and young people to address the street children phenomenon.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Cote dIvoire

ver 500 children participated at the Day of the African Child (DAC) event on Centre Mathieu Ray, in Abidjan (Koumassi District), on 16 June 2011. The official ceremony, though kept to a minimum, offered children an opportunity to celebrate, play and have fun through clown animations, make-up artists, theatre sketches, and performances by pop singers and comedians. The highlight of the event was the presence of the First Lady of Cote dIvoire, who graced the occasion along with other key officials among them, the Minister of Women, Family and Children and the UNICEF Representative. Speeches were also delivered.

The UNICEF Cote dIvoire Country Office prepared press releases, speeches, web features and assisted with the participation of child reporters. Consequently, media coverage was realized from the National State TV (TCI), Reuters, ONUCI-FM and Fraternit Matin. To realize the successful organization of the DAC, UNICEF collaborated with the Ministry of Women, Family and Children, Save the Children, Catholic Scouts, Forum of NGOs for children and the Childrens Parliament. Innovation: Animation for children and the participation of children during DAC. Overall Results: More than 500 children were offered an opportunity to celebrate and have fun in the wake of months of post-election violence. Awareness was raised among key decision makers on the importance to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (OPSC). Lessons Learned: Direct partnership with NGOs for the organization of the event.


he UNICEF Country Office in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held events to commemorate the Day of the African Child (DAC) that lasted from 1 June to 2 July 2011, in most of the 11 provinces of the DRC, and attended by hundreds of people, mainly children.

The main activities included one in Central Zone, Kinshasa, which comprised advocacy, cultural events, a press briefing and exhibitions. The second was a fundraising gala event covering child protection and held in Southern Zone, Lubumbashi. The third was held in Eastern Zone, Goma, where children participated in radio and TV shows focusing on their rights, as well as in Bukavu, where face-to face interviews were conducted by children regarding child protection. These events were attended by the UN DSRSG Mr. Fidle Sarrasoro, who delivered a key message during the ONE UN weekly press conference. During an interview with the national radio and TV, the UNICEF Representative commented on the importance of bringing up children within the family set up. The UNICEF DRC National Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Tresor Lualua, assisted social workers in reuniting a 14-year-old boy with his family following a 5-year long mediation process. UNICEF produced a press release, concept note, key messages and Questions and Answers on the DAC. Following a month-long commemoration, video reports were captured, while radio programmes were broadcasted by the Okapi Radio (MONUSCO). During DAC, UNICEF collaborated with street children, local NGOs like REJEER (Rseau des Jeunes et Enfants de la Rue) in Kinshasa, the media, other UN agencies, local and national authorities. Innovation: A charity gala was organized in Lubumbashi by industrialized operators (mainly in mining) and proceeds further earmarked for projects to support Orphans and Vulnerable Children in the province. Overall Results: In June 2011, the street children issue was brought to the fore during conversations and reflections on how the phenomenon directly affects children and communities. Lessons Learned: Excellent collaboration among UNICEF Protection and Advocacy programmes allowed partners in the field to take the lead in the organization of the DAC. A number of people appreciated the DAC theme.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Ethiopia

A half-day event, jointly organized by UNICEF and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (MoWCYA), was held on 16 June 2011, and comprised a series of activities. The celebration kicked off with a 30-minute televised media roundtable panel discussion with six children, including child parliamentarians as panelists, to discuss Community-based child care is the best alternative for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, as well as highlight the importance of family-based care. About 70 people participated at the roundtable, including representatives from the MoWCYA, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, members of parliament, UNICEF, NGOs, children and the media. The panel discussion was followed by the opening of an art exhibition featuring the works of children, along with an award ceremony. A large canvas was officially inaugurated at Meskel Square, in which street children and the public were given an opportunity to express, through painting on the canvas, their vision for alternative care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). The Adugna Dance Group thrilled the public through well-choreographed performances, while a DJ played tunes to the public at Meskel Square. On 17 June 2011, the MoWCYA organized a platform where child parliamentarians had discussions with members of the National Parliament on issues affecting OVCs. UNICEF delivered a speech at the event. The national DAC gathering of government officials, UNICEF, NGOs and other partners was conducted in Bahr Dar on the shores of Lake Tana on 18 June 2011. All partners reaffirmed their commitment to provide family-based care to OVCs in Ethiopia. The event was graced by H.E W/ro Zenebu Tadesse, Minister in the MoWCYA; H.E. W/ro Frenesh Mekuria, State Minister in the MoWCYA; and Mr. Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Representative, who also delivered a speech. UNICEF produced news notes, photos, banners and speeches. The media roundtable was broadcasted in two parts through a special programme of the ERTV, besides regular news coverage on ERTV. Coverage was also captured on both the government and private newspapers, such as The Ethiopian Herald and Fortune. Overall Results: The ERTV raised awareness on the OVC issue. The ERTV also reached about 15 million people through the media roundtable panel discussion, which saw the active participation of experts, as well as children who raised their own concerns.

he UNICEF Ethiopia Country Office participated in three key events on 16, 17 and 18 June 2011 at Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum, Harmony Hotel and Bahir Dar Region, respectively.

Lessons Learned: The initial plan to conduct the media roundtable discussion with a panel of experts was changed at the last moment to include a panel of children. This resulted in a short period to brief the child panelists, considering this was a televised programme. Despite the short notice, the children performed very well on TV.


dvocacy sessions, speeches, songs, dramas, testimonies, cultural events and games marked the Day of the African Child (DAC) commemorations in Gabon, on 16 June 2011, at the Centre daccueil pour enfants en difficults Arc-En-Ciel. Over 50 adults and 65 children were present at the event, which included the UNICEF Gabon Deputy Representative; the General Secretary of the Ministry in charge of Human Rights; General Directors of several departments such as Protection, Social Affairs, Human Rights, Family, Solidarity, Education and HIV-AIDS; the Director of the Observatoire Nationale des Droits de lEnfant (ONDE); the European Union; UN agency representatives; and Ambassadors. Speeches were delivered by children, representatives from the Arc-En-Ciel, UNICEF, the General Secretary of Human Rights and the Director of ONDE. To mark the DAC, UNICEF collaborated and coordinated with the departments of Human Rights, Social Affairs, Protection, Family and Solidarity, as well as with NGOs such as SIFOS and BD Boom, and also the Arc-En-Ciel and Angondge. UNICEF also interacted with 15 street children. The country office produced audio-visual materials that comprised information on street children (TV and radio), and Tshirts designed by 13-year-olds from BD Boom - a cartoon NGO. The national electronic and print media gave visibility to the DAC events.

Overall Results: UNICEF advocated for better understanding of the street children phenomenon. Consequently, the government agreed to conduct a national study on the street children phenomenon and which would culminate to the development of a national strategy. Lessons Learned: For the first time, a number of departments from several ministries, NGOs, children centers and children, collaborated in the organization of the DAC celebrations.


round 2,000 people representing NGOs, CSOs, children advocacy, parliament and women were part of the Day of the African (DAC) celebrations at the University of Faranah on 16 June 2011. The event was chaired by the State Minister of Social Affairs. The official ceremony showcased outstanding sketches about street children and a hunters dance in Guinea (DONZO, traditional dance of the hunters in Guinea). Also, statements were delivered by the State Guinean Minister of Social Affairs and from various partners such as Plan Guinea, Child Fund and World Education, as well as an advocacy session by the childrens parliament. A public conference and debate was also held on the challenges posed by street children. The UNICEF Guinea Country Office provided support to the government to carry out public activities, and further partnered with Plan Guinea, Child Fund and World Education to ensure the DAC success. Highlights on the DAC were featured on national TV and Radio (RTG) and national newspaper Horoya. UNICEF also produced a video CD.

Innovation: Elaborated a code of conduct training programme for various managers at the market places and sea shores for their adequate approach towards, and understanding of street children. Overall Results: Awareness was created about the need for urgent action in favour of street children. Accordingly, a code of conduct will be adapted soon.


Lessons Learned: UNICEF had been closely engaged at all stages of the DAC organizational process over the last ten years. Though the country office was not too close to the national counterparts this year, the outcome was nevertheless positive.


he occasion of the Day of the African Child (DAC) was held on 16 June 2011 at Down Town Parking Lot, Maseru, Lesotho, where over 200 people were treated to drama and poems by children living on the streets. The participants listened keenly to speeches by the permanent secretaries from the government, and representatives from UNICEF, USAID, CSOs and NGOs. Radio messages on creating a protective environment for all children, regardless of where they lived, were also delivered. In addition, over 200 people, among them, the government, UN agencies, CSOs, donors, the community and children living and working on the streets, viewed a photo exhibition and slide show at the upmarket Pioneer Mall. The exhibition comprised pictures taken by street children, under the title, Voices from the Street. The UNICEF Lesotho Country Office prepared a press release, banners, posters and radio and TV messages leading up to and during the DAC commemoration. News coverage was realized on Lesotho TV, MoAfrica, Lesotho Radio and Ultimate FM. UNICEF worked closely with NGOs working with children living on the streets, Kick4life, Lesotho Girl Guides Association, MSH and District Child Protection Committees. Overall Results: Increased awareness on the issue of children living on the streets. Lessons Learned: Messages on the theme of the DAC should be shared well in advance with partners so as to mobilise and build the requisite alliances. It is vital to identify a lead partner and government ministry to steer the process in good time, as well as identify a venue that does not alienate the audience that one seeks to target.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Madagascar

ntananarivo was the venue of an advocacy session that brought together about 3,400 street children to participate in the Day of the African Child (DAC) events on 16 June 2011. The celebrations featured representatives from the Ministry of Population, regional and local authorities, NGOs, CSOs and UNICEF. The UNICEF Madagascar Country Office produced audio-visual material and was involved in puppet shows and advocacy sessions. The DAC event was covered by the major newspaper, as well as in the TV and radio in Antananarivo. Articles were also written linking street children to child protection issues. Innovation: Interactive debate between children, CSOs and high ranking government officials. Overall Results: The new coalition of CSOs focused on the theme of the DAC: Actions in Favour of Street Children, in Antananarivo.


Lessons Learned: As a result of the sensitive political situation in Madagascar, only limited UNICEF visibility was possible alongside representatives of a non-recognised government.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Malawi

bout 5,000 people gathered at Lunzu Primary School Ground, in Blantyre, Malawi, on 18 June 2011 for the Day of the African Child (DAC) event. The majority of the crowd comprised pupils from different primary and secondary schools. The day commenced with a march by children holding placards bearing the DAC messages, led by top officials from the government and other organisations, who delivered speeches. The officials included the Minister of Gender, Child and Community Development Mrs. Theresa Mwale as Guest of Honor, and her Principal Secretary Mr. Eric Ninganga. Also present were the UNICEF Malawi Representative Ms. Carrie Auer, Plan Malawi Country Director, members of parliament, and senior traditional leaders, among others. Other activities included, displays by children and organisations engaged in child-focused programmes, dances, drama performances and traditional dances by children. The UNICEF Malawi Country Office disseminated press releases to the media, screened a documentary on the work of child-centred organisations, distributed speeches by the minister and UNICEF Representative to the media, and displayed banners bearing the DAC theme. The resulting media coverage included a Live broadcast of the event and the dissemination of key messages by MBC Radio. The MBC TV and Calvary Family Church TV, along with a number of radio stations also covered the DAC. Major newspapers carried articles prior to the DAC function. UNICEF partnered with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Community Development, Plan Malawi, World Vision Malawi, Theatre for Change (an NGO) and the local media. Innovation: Two children played the role of Directors of Ceremony and steered the function quite well. Their voices attracted the attention of fellow children and this ensured most children at the event paid attention to the proceedings. The event was screened Live on MBC Radio, one of the few radio stations with countrywide coverage, and which enabled other children and the rest of Malawi to follow the event on radio. Overall Results: The key messages on efforts being made by UNICEF and the government towards child protection, especially for those on the streets, were delivered to the audience and those following the event through the radio. Lessons Learned: There was delay in starting the function as guests awaited the chief guest.



DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Mali

he UNICEF Mali County Office, with support from Sony, the Centre for the Promotion of Training in Photography (CFP) and The Association of Working Children (AEJT), presented an exhibition of images from the EYE SEE Jekuwuli participatory youth photography initiative as part of a larger celebratory cultural event during the Day of the African Child (DAC) on 16 June 2011, at the Palais de la Culture, in Bamako. High level officials were present during the exhibition, including the President of Mali, H.E. Amadou Toumani Tour, the UNICEF Mali Representative Kanyankore Marcel Rudasingwa, representatives from UN agencies, government leaders, and local and international NGOs. 20 participants from UNICEFs youth photography initiative participated in the exhibition, along with thousands of other local youth. UNICEF Mali used the opportunity of the DAC to launch its bilingual website: The homepage featured photography from the children as used in the exhibition, and linked this to a press release on the exhibition and to more information about UNICEFs support to child protection initiatives. High visibility was gathered through TV coverage by the local stations ORTM and AfriCable. A website and human interest feature story on this initiative was shared on Facebook via UNICEF Africa, and via individual pages. During the DAC, UNICEF teamed up with the Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and Family Affairs, Save the Children, ILO, AEJT, CFP, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), Sony via the UNICEF Japan National Committee, the National Childrens Parliament (PNE), the Association for the Advancement of Child and Youth Communicators (APEJC), Community Radio Centres (CEC), Samu Social, Kanuya and Sigiyaton. Innovation: The exhibition, mounted onto archival canvas, consisted of 20 digital and 20 photographic prints made using simple pinhole cameras fashioned from used powdered milk cans. The images focused on children who live and work on the street, usually in vulnerable conditions and marginalized by society. The photographers ranged in age from 10 to 18 and came from marginalized backgrounds. The exhibition was a means for them to have a voice and learn creative journalism skills, including storytelling and advocacy. Overall Results: Children gained a sense of ownership over their work, resulting in a feeling of excitement and pride in what they had accomplished and enthusiasm about continuing their life-skills


workshop. The country office gained visibility through, The Guardian UK, The Telegraph of London, Lessor and other local media. Lessons Learned: Children offered a gift portrait to the President of Mali and hoped to have a moment to explain their exhibit and the importance of the support to vulnerable children. Unfortunately, there was no time for more than a very quick interaction with the president, to the disappointment of the children. With better planning or a different location, more time would have been secured with the President.


n 16 June 2011, a number of activities were held throughout Mozambique to observe the Day of the African Child (DAC). In one of the events, 150 people participated in a high-level seminar on children, organized by SOICO Media Company. The UNICEF Mozambique Deputy Representative, Mr. Roberto de Bernardi, was the keynote speaker. UNICEF was involved in an event organised by Radio Mozambique, and attended by 200 people. The Mozambican First Lady attended a DAC commemoration in Inhambane Province. There were multiple media appearances by UNICEF staff on international media, including VOA, RTP, RFI, and DW, and in all major national media outlets, among them TVM, STV, Miramar and TIM. The visibility also included a two-hour long roundtable TV discussion dedicated to the theme of the DAC. Further coverage was recorded on Facebook and Twitter. Overall Results: Results not explicitly measurable, but high level of visibility was realised.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Niger

very year, 916 June corresponds with the Week of the Nigerien Child (Semaine de lEnfant Nigrien). This year, several activities were organized during the course of that week by the Ministry of Child Protection in collaboration with the National Broadcasting Agency ORTN/TV Sahel, with the support of the UNICEF Niger Country Office. The week-long activities culminated with the celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) on 16 June.

As a prelude to the DAC, a special child photo exhibition, which took place from 8 to 11 June 2011, and entitled, Dans notre viseur, pour un monde meilleur, captured childrens vulnerabilities, with a focus on street children. The inauguration of the exhibition took place at the French Cultural Center in Niger on


9 June 2011, and was attended by over 100 people. Present at the inauguration included the UNICEF Niger Representative and staff, secretary generals of the ministries of Child Protection and Communication, several Ambassadors and heads of agencies, members of the National Youth Council, representatives of international and local organizations, including Save the Children, Plan International, and young photographers. Nigerien children also reminded decision-makers of the commitment they took by signing the Declaration of the Children of Niger. From 9 to 16 June 2011, at the ORTN TV Sahel, children spoke on national television about their living conditions and highest aspirations, and urged decision-makers to act for a better tomorrow. National radio stations broadcasted several reports and investigations on childrens living conditions in Niger so as to allow access to the most vulnerable populations, especially in rural areas, by all regions of Niger and abroad via satellite. A movie series entitled, Why am I on the Street, was broadcasted daily on national television from 10 to 15 June 2011, with a focus on street children. In the series of six movies, the movie director followed and documented, among others, a young boy who found himself on the street as a result of abuse at home. The Microphone to the Youth discussion was televised on ORTN TV Saleh and Tal TV, on 12 June 2011, featuring a civil society advocate, a representative of the Ministry of Child Protection and two social workers. In addition to these experts, more than 20 children took part in the discussion and engaged the experts on issues related to childrens vulnerabilities. Among the children were child directors of One Minute Junior and who lived on the street and directed movies to show different aspects of their lives. Fact sheets on childrens vulnerabilities in Niger were disseminated. The movie La Traverse du Fleuve, (Crossing the River) was broadcasted on 16 June 2011 on ORTN TV Sahel and Tal TV in partnership with the Association des Jeunes Scolaires du Niger. It recounts the life of a child who left his village for Niamey because of extreme poverty. He left in order to help his mother cope with the heavy burden of raising his younger siblings. The movie was directed by a youth group that works to rehabilitate children living on the street. A large cultural event attracted about 15,000 children from all regions of Niger at the National Stadium (Stade Gnral Seyni Kountch) in Niamey, on 16 June 2011. Present at the gathering were the First Lady of Niger, members of the government, several Ambassadors, the UNICEF Niger Representative and staff and representatives of international and local organizations. The children presented songs, skits, dances, poems, and drama pieces in an effort to raise awareness on the issue of street children and urge decisionmakers to act for the betterment of their living conditions. In parallel, all seven regions organized cultural events for and by the children. Also on 16 June 2011, at the Palais des Congrs, the Minister of Child Protection in collaboration with UNICEF launched the process for drafting the framework document on child protection in Niger, aimed at addressing child protection issues in a more systematic manner and reinforcing prevention and response mechanisms for vulnerable children. To commemorate the DAC, Jeune Chambre Internationale Niger (JCI Niger) partnered with UNICEF Niger, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Ministry of Education to organize a Book and Reading Day on 18 June 2011 that brought together 180 children from 45 primary schools to the Oumarou Ganda Cultural Center in Niamey. The children competed on songs, dictations, and speech/reading, with a special focus on childrens rights. The Declaration of the Children of Niger was highlighted as the main subject of the dictation. Present at the event were key officials from the Ministry of National Education, under-secretary of the Ministry of National Education, Secretary General of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, General Director of National Youth Programmes, Youth and Adolescent Development Officer at UNICEF Niger, national representative of Nigers Parliament and members of JCI Niger. The week-long DAC events in Niger drew good media coverage on TV Sahel, TV Bonfrey, TV Tnr, TV Dounia, Canal 3, le Sahel, Deutsche Welle, BBC and, among others.


Innovation: It was the independent initiative of a woman director that produced a series about six lives, inviting viewers into the world of the street child from different perspectives. While small clips by professional reporters usually guide the debates in Microphone to the Youth, the short movies by Nigerien children living on the street served as a compass for the discussion. It was the first time that a workshop on photography and a photo exhibition took place in Niger involving children living on the street and those in schools. TV reports on the Declaration of the Children of Niger gave new space for children to be advocates, and to monitor their leaders commitments. Overall Results: Advocacy for the rights of children was promoted among political leaders. Children were given a voice through the photo exhibition and the media. There was greater media involvement in promoting childrens rights to access to information by and for children. Lessons Learned: Great synergy was seen among actors in organizing and coordinating most events. Children were heavily involved in the process as partners and actors, and hence, strong cultural exchange was promoted among children from various backgrounds and regions of Niger. There is a need to decentralize activities to allow children, especially from rural and remote areas to be fully involved.


series of activities were held between 14 and 16 June 2011 in Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Kaduna, Bauchi and Enugu, in Nigeria, to observe the Day of the African Child (DAC). Over 6,300 people were present to witness and participate in the activities, which included pre-event media briefings and appearances, float rides, drama, symposia, a film premier, a road walk and school debate. The activities attracted various officials, key among them were the governors wives, permanent secretaries, directors, the Commissioner of Police, the UNICEF Representative, Save the Children, Nollywood celebrities and media executives. The UNICEF Nigeria Country Office collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Nigerian Television Authority, Vanguard Newpapers, SilverBird Galleria, and Child to Child Network to ensure the success of the DAC activities. The country office produced T-shirts, speeches and films done by children on the DAC theme. Subsequently, all major newspapers, radio and TV stations in Nigeria accorded coverage to the activities, among them, The Guardian, Vanguard, Punch, Daily Trust newspapers, Radio Nigeria and Nigerian Television Authority. Innovation: Launch of a film on street children and collaboration on road walk with media.

Overall Results: The media renewed its focus and set the agenda on the street children phenomenon.


he Senegalese civil society and development partners, in sync with the Department of Early Childhood, staged simultaneous events throughout the country to mark the occasion of the Day of the African Child (DAC), and draw attention to the lives of African children. Advocacy, social mobilization and awareness were therefore conducted for 15 days to lay the groundwork for a national movement for coordinated and harmonized action for street children. As a prelude to the DAC celebration, the UNICEF Senegal Country Office and the Directorate for Protection of Child Rights of the Ministry of the Family held, on 10 June 2011 in Breda/UNESCO, a briefing for journalists. The briefing was organised for journalists to fully comprehend the theme of the DAC, create good public awareness and provide insights into improving the situation of children. The briefing brought a strong presence of journalists. There was good media coverage recorded in the local and national press.


In other events, 60 juvenile detainees, aged between 13 and 18, at the House of Detention and Correction (Mac) Hann in Dakar, were accorded a rare opportunity to participate in the DAC celebrations. Further, students from different schools in the town of Ziguinchor were honored during a DAC event marked by recreational activities such as theater, games, dance and drawing competitions, with the support of the NGO Child Fund. Over 1,000 children took part. The final of the fifth edition of the Festival in the realm of children (FARE) took place on 30 July 2011 at Le Meridien President, during which a dozen students from CM1 and CM2, and from all regions of Senegal participated in the finals of the drawing competition. Innovation: Celebrating the DAC at the House of Detention and Correction (Mac) Hann and caravans of awareness on child abuse and sexual abuse of children, were innovative approaches, in addition to the production of an extra Child Protection Special by The Sun and a Child Protection Special Issue of Kinkeliba by The RTS on 16 June 2011. Overall Results: The organization of the DAC event was outstanding, with the remarkable participation of troops of children from Dakar. The 15-day advocacy, social mobilization and awareness sessions were the first of their kind and which laid the groundwork for action in favour of street children. The Directorate for Protection of Child Rights with its various outreach caravans contributed to the success of the DAC event. Lessons Learned: There was popular support from the people and local authorities, customary and religious leaders in Dakar. There needs to be better involvement of local people, especially greater accountability of the Local Organizing Committee.


n South Africa, the Day of the African Child (DAC) was marked during the week of 13-17 June 2011. The UNICEF South Africa Country Office prepared a press release, engaged the social media platforms and conducted media outreaches that led to coverage of the DAC issues in some media outlets. Media highlights included coverage on Lotus FM, a major South African radio station, where UNICEF took part in an hour-long discussion on 19 June 2011 that drew attention to child protection issues. UNICEF also facilitated a school visit by Xinhua News Agency, which produced a TV feature on South African youth. The clip is available at: Overall Results: High media coverage on the DAC. Lessons Learned: UNICEF did not support any specific government-led activities to mark the DAC as it is perceived as a highly politicized event in South Africa.


he whole month of June 2011 was observed as childrens month in Swaziland. Since HIV continues to be a serious challenge to the country, the Day of the African Child (DAC) in Swaziland focused on HIV prevention for young people (Umliba loya embili: empowered to prevent HIV). The event was celebrated at Siphofaneni in the Lubombo region on 16 June 2011, as the region has the lowest levels of comprehensive knowledge on HIV. On 1 June 2011, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, US Ambassador, UNICEF and WHO representatives joined members of the childrens consortium and the media to launch childrens month.


Stakeholders facilitated dialogue in 18 schools in the Lubombo region on the issue of delaying sexual debut and preventing and reporting sexual abuse. This culminated to the DAC celebration on 16 June 2011 attended by about 5,000 children, 1,000 community leaders, parents and teachers. Others present were the chairperson of the childrens portfolio committee in Parliament who represented the Deputy Prime Minister, area member of parliament, chiefs, regional administrator, regional education officer, UNICEF Representative and NGO directors. During the event, children composed and performed songs, poems, drama and presented speeches. The DAC commemoration saw close collaboration between UNICEF and the National Childrens Coordination Unit, 30 NGOs, community leadership, teachers and children. UNICEF prepared a media advisory, and shared speeches with all the electronic and print media. Subsequently, the DAC event was covered by the national radio station, Swazi TV and the local newspapers Swazi Observer and Times of Swaziland. Stakeholders also facilitated discussions on radio and television. Innovation: Mobilized children in advance of the DAC, engaged them on the theme and allowed them to discuss issues before the actual event. The results of the dialogues will inform programming in HIV prevention for young people in the country. Overall Results: Children were sensitized on how to delay their first sexual encounter and alerted on available services in case of abuse. Lessons Learned: Engaging children ahead of the DAC event gives an opportunity to discuss and explore issues further. Involving the community leadership in the planning committee also increases ownership of the activity. Consequently, some community leaders pledged to follow up on abuses reported in the community.


he Day of the African Child (DAC) was marked on 11, 16 and 18 June 2011 in Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Zanzibar and Ifakara, in Tanzania, and largely comprised the production of radio programmes.

During the DAC, 60 young reporters from the Young Reporters Network participated and produced four radio programmes focusing on street children, and which were broadcasted on four separate community radio stations. At the end of June 2011, the productions were aired on national radio - TBC Taifa. The link to one of the radio programmes produced by the YRN in Moshi can be found at: The radio programmes were produced through collaboration between the UNICEF Tanzania Country Office, several NGOs, the Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Plan International, Save the Children and Mkombozi. In addition to the radio programmes, the country office also issued the NYHQ/Addis Ababa press release on 16 June 2011, which also included UNICEF supported action in Tanzania to address violence and abuse. Some articles in the national mainstream newspapers made reference to the press release. The YRN was established in early 2011 to teach young people new skills in handling and using radio equipment, radio reporting and producing radio programmes for children, increase young peoples active participation in the production of childrens programmes and develop their capacity to be child rights advocates. UNICEF is collaborating with NGOs and community radio stations to ensure the young reporters have a safe working environment and get their programmes aired fortnightly. Overall Results: The Government of Tanzania is more aware of the need to develop policies to reinforce child rights and of the increasing plight of street children.



pproximately 100 people, including young people, participated at a symposium, a march past and a poetry competition during the Day of the African Child (DAC) event held at the Unique FM Radio Station grounds, on 18 June 2011, in The Gambia. The events were attended by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sheriff Gomez; the Director in the Department of Social Welfare, Mrs. Fanta Bai Secka; the UNICEF Representative, Mrs. Aichatou Diawar-Flambert; representatives of UN agencies; and the Director of the Centre for Street Children and Child Trafficking Studies, Mr. Sheik Lewis. The UNICEF The Gambia Country Office prepared a media advisory, press release, banners and statements that translated into visibility in the national radio and TV (GRTS), major local newspapers, including Point and Foroyaa newspapers, and FM Radio stations, including the Unique FM, KWT and Teranga FM. During the DAC events, UNICEF collaborated closely with the Young People in the Media (YPM) and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Innovation: The poetry competition served to encourage more creativity, self-expression, and involvement of young people. Following the event, and appeal to young people to submit poems on issues affecting them, and which they would like to see changed, some poems were submitted to YPM. Negotiations are ongoing between YPM and The Writers Association of the Gambia (WAG) for possible support in publishing a volume of the best poems. Overall Results: The public has a better understanding of who street children are. The public is also aware of the magnitude of these children in The Gambia, especially in the rural areas, and more knowledgeable of the problems they face and measures to prevent children from going into the streets. There was assurance by the Department of Social Welfare to redouble its effort to address the problem. Lessons Learned: Young people in The Gambia do not participate much in public events unless urged to. A cultural reason for this limited participation and involvement is that where young people and adults are together, young people can listen, but not be heard. Early planning of the DA will allow for a successful event.


he UNICEF Togo Country Office participated in a four-pronged commemoration of the Day of the African Child (DAC) in Lom and five other regions of the Togo on 16 June 2011. About 800 street children, some local NGOs and more than 13 local and national media were involved in the celebrations. The first event was a discussion panel between 50 street children representing other street children and key ministers in the government, including the ministries of Social Action, Education and Security. This was followed by a lunch organized for up to 800 children, accompanied by famous national singers and comedians. The second event was a football tournament between ten teams, that is, five street children teams and five non-street children teams. A street children team (Gbosim market) was eventually awarded the tournament cup. The third event was a television debate that focused on street childrens issues, organized by three television stations, and which was attended by the government, UNICEF, NGOs and local authorities. This event attracted a large audience in the country (TVT, LCF, RTDS). The fourth event included interactive debates on community radios in all six regions of Togo. The events brought together a number of key officials from the government, including Ministers (Social Action, Primary School, Promotion of Women, Security, Water, Justice, Trading, Youth and Sports and Health), Second Vice President of the Parliament, the European Union, partners such as France, China and Belgium, UNDP, WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF, Plan Togo, traditional chiefs and community leaders, singers and actors involved in child protection in Togo.


UNICEF collaborated with the Ministry of Social Action, Forum des Organisations Dfense des Droits de lEnfant au Togo, Rseau de Lutte contre la Traite des Enfants au Togo, WAO Afrique, Marem, Fraternit, Centre la Providence, Plan Togo, Terres des Hommes and the Bureau Catholique International pour lEnfance (BICE). The DAC activities continued for another couple of weeks after 16 June 2011. A number of communication tools were developed and disseminated. This included a press release to mobilize media, partners and CSOs; the speech of the UNICEF Representative; audio-visual and broadcasting material produced by children and supported by a local NGO A Nous la Plante, that highlighted street childrens issues, and which was primed last year by International Childrens Day Broadcasting (UNICEF race) in New York. All national electronic media - Radio Lom, Togo Presse and Television Togolaise - and more than ten private and international media (BBC) were involved in the DAC celebrations and gave it adequate coverage. Innovation: The special forum provided street children with an opportunity to express themselves, to talk about their daily risks as victims of violence, abuse and exploitation, and their need to access basic services like education, health, nutrition, housing etc. The government representatives committed themselves to be monitored all year round on the street children issue and a follow up report produced during the next DAC. Overall Results: The Ministry of Education and Social Action committed themselves to help school age street children go back to school and also benefit from vocational training. UNICEF supported the pledge and will work with the ministry and other actors involved in that action to achieve results. This DAC event was widely broadcasted and served as a strong advocacy strategy targeting parents, communities, authorities and children. Lessons Learned: Keeping the same DAC theme for two or three years will allow for the achievement of more impactful results for street children.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Uganda

elebrations to mark the Day of the African Child (DAC) were conducted between 13 and 17 June 2011, with the main 16 June activity taking place in Napak District (Karamoja), Kampala, Uganda.

The Minister of State for Karamoja visited Napak District on 14 June 2011 for a dialogue with returnee street children, their families, Child Protection Committee members and social workers. About 300 people were involved in the visit, which also included Hon. Barbara Nekesa Oundo, Mr. Sharad Sapra, UNICEF Uganda Representative and his team; District Chairperson and Chief Administrative Officer, Napak District; Coordinator and C & D; and national officials from BRAC Uganda. In addition, the visit comprised the ECD Centre and a tour of a youth group digital kiosk. Media interviews were also conducted. Up to 200 people participated in a Street Childrens Dialogue on 15 June 2011, which comprised discussions, skit, songs, poems, HIV/AIDS/Sexual Reproductive Health sessions, a rehabilitation and


counseling session, commitments for children session, speeches and performances by former street children-turned-celebrities. On 16 June 2011, the main DAC national event brought together over 1,000 people in Napak District, where speeches were delivered by the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Affairs, Hon. Syda Bbumba and UNICEF. The event was an opportunity to launch three child-related policy publications, as well as hold exhibitions, songs and poems. Present at the Dialogue and the national event were the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon. Ronald Kibuule; Acting Commissioner for Youth and Children Affairs, Mr. Francis Mondo Kyateka; Acting Secretary-General, National Council for Children, Martin Kiiza; representatives from Kampala Capital City Authority; various child rights advocacy CSOs and NGOs; and the UNICEF Chief of Child Protection. The UNICEF Uganda Country Office prepared and delivered communication material that included a statement attributable to the Minister for Karamoja and First Lady Hon. Janet Museveni, a video interview of the Minister for Karamoja and First Lady Hon. Janet Museveni, which were disseminated to the media, a press release, a video news feature uploaded on the global website, a feature story uploaded on the global website, three TV news features, a speech delivered by the Chief of Child Protection at the main event and photographs from the Napak event. As a consequence, the DAC event enjoyed visibility in the New Vision (major daily newspaper), NTV, UBC, and several FM radio stations countrywide. Overall Results: Enhanced public awareness of push-and-pull factors of Karamajong children to urban streets. Enhanced visibility of UNICEFs support to the government and other partners, which will result in the implementation of programmes to counter outmigration of children from Karamoja. Public awareness on the role of technology for development in the long term development and reduction of outmigration of children and their families from Karamoja was enhanced.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Zambia

bout 1,000 people were in attendance at the Don Bosco Youth Centre, Mansa, Luapula Province, in Zambia on 16 June 2011 to mark the Day of the African Child (DAC). The official ceremony was characterized by role playing, statements by children, drama, songs and poetry, as well as a march past by young people, led by the Zambia Army Brass Band. Speeches were delivered by the UNICEF Zambia Representative, Dr. Iyorlumun J. Uhaa; government officials, including Mr. Kenneth Chipungu, Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Teddy Mulonga, and the Director of Child Affairs in the same ministry, Mr. John Zulu. Others present were the District Commissioner, CSOs such as Children in Need Network and some members of the UNICEF Zambia Country Office team. UNICEF produced a newspaper supplement with messages from the government, UNICEF and NGOs dedicated to the DAC, as well as a press release and speeches. The DAC activities were captured by the media, among them, the government-owned ZNBC TV and Radio, government-owned Zambia Daily


Mail newspaper, private and independent daily newspaper, The Post, Catholic-owned Radio Yangeni and the private commercial radio, Radio Phoenix. Innovation: UNICEF staff joined the government and CSOs in a Night Walk in Lusaka that entailed reaching out to street children in the night, talking to them and giving them food. The interaction gave insights into reasons for being on the street, their vulnerabilities and living conditions. Overall Results: The DAC commemoration fostered stronger relations between UNICEF and the NGOs that were part of the organizing committee, as well as those that participated in the outreach (Night Walk) to street children. Lessons Learned: UNICEF supported advocacy efforts on request from the government. The Communications Section will engage child and climate ambassadors across the country in 2012 so as to carry out small and high impact sensitization activities in their localities.


DAC - Pictorial

All Photos by UNICEF Zimbabwe

ore than 300 children and 200 adults from different parts of Zimbabwe interacted, shared experiences and discussed possible solutions to their common challenges during an Open House at the UNICEF Zimbabwe Country Office on 16 June 2011. The children had an opportunity to interact with ministers, donors and UN agencies on issues affecting them. The Day of the African Child (DAC) was therefore the platform for this interaction, where a series of activities were organised, including market place displays, songs, dances, poems, skits, drama, artworks and craftwork, gymnastics displays, jumping castles and clowns, art lessons and face paintings. The DAC celebrations drew participation from top officials, among them the children and programme officers from 15 local NGOs, government officials including the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Development and Indigenization; the principal secretary in the Prime Ministers Office; Director of Gender in the Ministry of Gender and Womens Affairs; representatives from the donor community; representatives from the diplomatic missions; UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Alain Noudhou; UNDP Director; WHO Representative, Dr. Custodia Mandlhate; UN agency personnel; young musician Leonard Mapfumo; prominent musicians and recently appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAR), Oliver Mtukudzi; sports personalities, Norman Mapeza; Lazarus Muhoni, advocate for childrens rights; private sector collaborators and the media. Posters, banners, a press release, fast facts, branded T-shirts, statements, web stories and TV and radio programmes were produced by the UNICEF Zimbabwe Country Office. During June 2011, there was encouraging media coverage by all local newspapers including, The Herald, Daily News, Newsday and the Mail, as well as all TV and radio stations, including, ZTV 1 and 2, Radio Zimbabwe, Power FM, Spot FM and National FM. Coverage was also recorded on local web based papers, including New, zimonline, the Zimbabwean, and the international media, among them VOA, BBC, SABC, AFP, IRIN and AP.


Innovation: There was great use of the local media to promote discussions on children and advocate programming on childrens rights and their concerns during the month of June. This was clear from the number of activities before 16 June and also the holding of the 19th Session of Junior parliament on 16 July 2011 on Children and the Constitution. A good platform for children and young people to talk about their experiences, issues and concerns was created through displays, poems, song, skits and dialogue raised with policy makers. Getting prominent personalities on board to commemorate DAC with the children was a good way of getting more people to support the child rights agenda in Zimbabwe. Creating a question and answer session where children were able to ask the government and the UN questions allowed children to be heard and responded to by the key stakeholders. The commemorations provided an opportunity to involve children from different social and economic backgrounds to learn from each other. These included children with disabilities, children living on the streets, children living with HIV and children survivors of abuse. Overall Results: Strategic partnerships were established with the government and NGOs to advocate the child rights agenda, including child protection from violence, abuse and exploitation. Key child rights concerns were raised and continue to be raised by children to the key stakeholders, including the government, UN and donors. In addition, a strong alliance was built with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for East and Southern Africa Region. There was good momentum for DAC to be commemorated throughout the month of June and into July culminating in a dialogue on Children and the Constitution. Lessons Learned: Children from all social and economic backgrounds had an opportunity to be a part of the DAC events. UNICEF managed to attract top celebrities to advocate on childrens rights. Ministers, UN agencies and the diplomatic community had an opportunity to gain firsthand experience of the challenges affecting Zimbabwes children. Bringing different NGOs together created an opportunity for them to learn from each other and share their experiences. Gaining media attention prior to the event allowed for the DAC messages to be spread broadly, continuously and beyond the 16 June event.

26. AFRICAN COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON THE RIGHTS AND THE WELFARE OF THE CHILD (ACERWC) The Day of African Child Message By Agnes Kabore Ouattara, Acting Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC),

he celebration of the Day of the African Child gives us another opportunity to mobilise all our efforts towards the welfare of children, who constitute the backbone of our continents future. The Day of the African Child is celebrated on 16 June every year by the African Union, in line with resolution CM/Res.1290 (XL) to commemorate the 1976 massacre of Soweto children, who merely took to the streets to demand their right to racism-free education, in the then apartheid South Africa. More than just a commemoration, the Day of the African Child seeks to draw the attention of all actors involved in improving the condition of children on the continent and to unite their efforts to combat the ills that plague the daily lives of children. It is also an occasion for governments, international institutions and communities to deal with this delicate condition of children by organising activities to promote the rights of the child. All Together for Urgent Action in favour of Street Children: that is the theme which the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child invites the African community to meditate


on during this year, 2011, before the celebration of the 21st Day of the African Child. By street children, we mean any boy or girl under adult age for whom the street has become home and/or their source of livelihood. Africa is one of the regions in the world with the highest poverty level and where survival chances for children are among the lowest. By deciding to lay emphasis this year on a specific category of children, the Committee intends to draw the attention of African societies to the serious threat posed to their stability and cohesion. The conception of the African family has always given the impression that the street children phenomenon would be marginal on the continent. Is it still possible today for the most vulnerable of children to easily find protection and refuge with a member of their community, which itself is struggling for its own survival? The number of street children in the world, though very difficult to assess, is estimated at 120 million (that is, one of every five children, according to ILO and UNICEF studies), out of which 30 million are in Africa and a majority of which are boys. The issue of children living on the streets in African towns is the visible face of large-scale violations of rights which thousands of children suffer. In fact, the underlying reason for the presence of children on the streets is always linked to trampled basic rights. The condition of the street children should be seen as a response to a chain and accumulation of factors which are diversified and at different levels. We are particularly referring to the linkages and accumulation of structural factors (such as poverty, demographic explosion, rural exodus, undesirable material and psychological conditions of urban families, injustices from the domineering nature of globalisation, etc.) and of inter-personal factors (such as subjection to violence on a daily basis: rejection, scorn, forced imitation, imposed deviant behaviour, etc.). The direct causes which could explain why children stay on the streets of many towns in our continent include, inter alia: handing over of children to guardians, inhuman treatment, armed conflict, discord between spouses, separations and difficulties associated with parenthood, direct consequences of STIs/HIV-AIDS, etc. On the streets, the children often encounter fatal threats and bad behaviours. They are battered by weather conditions, hardship, destitution, diseases, accidents and apathy. They also face insecurity, acts of violence, sexual abuse in an environment where might is right, which expose them to encounters and influences of the worst order. Young girls are solicited for sex from a very tender age and they end up in prostitution. Furthermore, in most countries, prostitution by girls and boys is becoming routine and constitutes a source of income. Lastly, most street children, even the youngest of them, use drugs and are exposed to HIV/AIDS. In any case, their daily lives are in contradiction to childhood as defined in the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. In some cases, it is those who are charged with protecting children who commit crimes against them. Combating a scourge requires prior in-depth analysis thereof. That is why we feel that reflection on the condition of street children should revolve around the following major questions: Who are street children? What is the scale of the phenomenon on the continent? What reasons explain their separation from family homes? What dangers are they exposed to on the streets? What protective measures should be envisaged for them? What preventive mechanism should be put in place?

The terrifying life which some of those who constitute our future are forced to live compels us to react in an appropriate manner. The increasingly growing presence of children on the streets attests to the urgency of increased actions and of adapting intervention strategies directed at them.


Consequently, there is a need to devote the greatest amount of effort and resources to finding appropriate solutions to stem the large-scale abuses of the rights of this category of children. Ensuring widespread awareness of the dangers street children face and taking urgent steps to protect them should constitute goals which every African State Party to the Charter should strive to achieve. We should give back to our street children their childhood, which means giving them parental love, family protection, the joy of discovery, a playful environment and the opportunity of learning to live a harmonious life in society. Therefore, we invite families, children, childrens organisations, as well as organisations for the protection and promotion of child rights to claim ownership of the theme of the Day of the African Child and to work to make mobilisation around this theme to last longer than just one day. Now, concerning political authorities, as we acknowledge the great efforts already made towards childrens welfare, we again urge officials at the highest level to include the fight against this phenomenon of street children in national development priorities, as well as any action that favours allocation of significant resources to implementing assistance and rehabilitation programmes for the affected children. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child will make a global assessment of this commemoration and intends to play its role in working with States to ensure better protection for children. More than just a strong commitment, it is urgent to take concrete steps so as to reassure the children of the unwavering desire to build the Africa they deserve.





The Day of the African Child Message By Marta Santos Pais Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children

n June 16, we commemorate the Day of the African Child, established in honour of the courageous protests by thousands of school children in 1976, in Soweto, South Africa, who were demanding an education of quality and the right to learn in their own language. That moment was the beginning of a dream for the recognition of childrens rights everywhere and at all times, a dream we remain committed to pursue! The Decision of the Executive Council of the African Union to devote this years celebration to the theme: All Together for Urgent Actions in Favour of Street Children is a critical recognition of the enormous challenges faced by millions of children living and working in the streets, around the world and across the African continent. But it is in addition an important reminder that these children stand as a genuine indicator of social progress in any given nation. This was also the spirit behind the recognition, earlier this year, of an International Day for Street Children. As stressed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, street children are amongst the most vulnerable victims of the most extreme forms of violence, including at the hands, or with the encouragement or tolerance of law enforcement officials. Perceived as a curse, labelled as delinquents, and ignored in their individual identity and history, these children are met with neglect and contempt. Their life is surrounded by stigma, indifference, invisibility and fear; associated with high levels of violence and abuse, and also with weak, ill-resourced and fragmented efforts to protect their fundamental rights. Victims of harassment, humiliation, ill-treatment and abuse, for these children the challenges of reporting and complaining about incidents of violence are insurmountable. Powerless to make their case, lacking information about who might help, frightened to approach authorities, fearing they will not be trusted and


may be blamed for what has happened, they face a complex labyrinth which most of the time is further aggravated by unprepared and ill-resourced services. This is a serious governance gap we need to address! For this reason, I share and strongly support the commitment of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child to protect the rights of children living in the streets, and to safeguard them from all forms of violence. On this auspicious day, let us take action and make a real difference in the life of children living and working in the streets. Let us promote, in all African countries, the adoption of legislation banning all forms of violence against children, and abolishing any status offences and criminalization of survival behaviour, such as begging, truancy or vagrancy. Let us make widely available and well publicized, safe, child sensitive and confidential counselling, reporting and complaint mechanisms to address incidents of violence, to reach out and support child victims in the streets. Let us develop robust and well-resourced child protection systems, supporting families in their critical child rearing role, and fighting impunity for the harm children may suffer. And, in our resolve to make a genuine difference, let us promote solutions with street children themselves, understanding their perspectives, investing in their genuine empowerment, and enabling them to make informed choices. Children are key agents of change. Capturing their views, experience and resilience is vital to shape decisions and to inform data and research, and policy making so desperately needed in this area. Let this Day of the African Child be the start of an era where the fulfilment of the rights of street children, and their effective protection from violence, shape the daily universe of all children.

28. NEW YORK HQ, UNICEF LIAISON OFFICE TO THE AU AND UNECA, WCARO, ESARO AND MENARO Press Release UNICEF calls African governments to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse Theme of the 2011 Day of the African Child: All together for urgent action in favour of street children
NEW YORK/ADDIS ABABA, 16 June 2011 Thousands of children in Africa are experiencing violence, exploitation and abuse on a daily basis. The situation is especially stark for children living and working on the streets. On the occasion of the 21st annual Day of the African Child, UNICEF calls on governments to strengthen support systems, which provide the basis for a more protective environment in families and communities to keep children safe and strengthen families through the provision of basic social, health and education services. These children have already been forced from the protection of their homes, only to be subjected to even greater risks on the streets, said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. On the Day of the African Child -- and every day -- we must do all we can to address the reasons why so many children are separated from their families, and invest in new efforts to protect them, no matter where they live. Widespread poverty, conflicts, HIV and AIDS and climate change as well as violence in the home are forcing more and more children to leave their homes to live and work on the streets, exposed to harm and exploitation. Many others end up in less visible exploitative situations, working in households, on farms, in mines or even in armed groups.


In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 50 million children have lost one or both parents, almost 15 million of them due to AIDS. Some of them are forced to grow up on their own, with limited or no support from adult caretakers. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of child labour in the world with more than one-third of children aged 514 being engaged in the hardest forms of labour. The issue of children working and living on the streets in African towns and cities is only the visible face of large-scale violations of rights, said Agns Kabore Ouattara, Chairperson of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. It is a consequence of socio-economic factors such as poverty, demographic explosion, rural-urban migration, political crises, as well as inter-personal problems such as violence and rejection at home in dysfunctional families. These challenges reinforce the need to strengthen the role of families and communities in promoting and protecting the wellbeing of children. As a consequence, governments, with support from partners, need to invest adequate resources in the disadvantaged rural or provincial communities, to reduce disparities between regions and income groups as well as to fight discrimination based on sex, age, ethnicity amongst other factors. Over the past years, a number of African countries have achieved important gains in the implementation of the child rights framework. Many countries have introduced social protection mechanisms including cash transfers, which play a key role in supporting vulnerable families and preventing children from leaving their homes to secure some income on the street or in other exploitative labour conditions. UNICEF is collaborating with governments throughout the continent to create a protective environment by both fostering social welfare programmes and engaging in advocacy efforts to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Note for the editor The Day of the African Child commemorates a 1976 march in Soweto South Africa, when thousands of African school children took to the streets to protest the inferior quality of their education and to demand their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down and in the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured. To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity. The Day also draws attention to the lives of African children today. About UNICEF UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The worlds largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: For further information, please contact: Janine Kandel, UNICEF Media, New York, Tel: + 1 212 326 7684, Anthony Mwangi, UNICEF Liaison Office to the AU and UNECA, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tel: + 251 11 518 4223, Cell: + 251 911 51 3058, Martin Dawes, UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office, Dakar, Senegal, Tel: + 221 77 569 1926, Michael Klaus, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: + 254 20 762 2214, Najwa Mekki, UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office, Amman, Jordan, Tel: + 962-6550-2425,
This report was prepared by the UNICEF Liaison Office to the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.