Each year, States members of the African Union spend the day of June 16 to African children in memory of the 1976 in Soweto uprisings, during which a demonstration by school children in South Africa, against schooling inspired by apartheid, result was the public slaughter of young protesters unarmed by police officers.
“The international day of the African child is an opportunity that captures the African Union to express its concern at the persistence of harmful traditional practices such as excision of young girls, children, and other early work. She is campaigning for a better society where these practices would be banned; a world that is able to offer an equal opportunity of development at all,”said Ambassador of the African Union in the DRC, Emmanuel Mendoume Nzé.
Economic disparities are often at the origin of the abuses committed against children as evidenced by early marriage of children or the charge of witchcraft. Poverty in families and communities cause and accentuates these phenomena, where the child is considered a load. In the case of early marriages, the consequences include interruption of schooling for girls and endangering their health.
In DRC, the study on children and youth outside school, led by the Department of primary education, secondary and professional, with the support of UNICEF and its partners in 2012, shows that early marriages are among the barriers to the education of girls. According to Ms. Geneviève Inagossi Kassongo, Minister of gender, family and child.
“The 24th edition of the JEA is an opportunity for the Government to reiterate its commitments made upon ratification of the international conventions on the one hand, the legal arsenal to international standards on the other hand, harmonization efforts and redouble their efforts in the context of the assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including the deadline to 2015.”
In article 15.1, the Convention on the rights of the child (CRC) said that States parties must take “appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children”.
In the DRC, in view of the large number of maternal deaths (570 per 100,000 live births) and the mortality of children under 5 years of age (158 per 1,000 births), the Government initiated the “Renewed promise” 31 May 2013 with aims to save the lives of 7,900 lives of mothers and 430,000 children in the DRC by late 2015.
The DRC has also ratified legal instruments such as the COE, the African Charter on the rights and welfare of the child or the law on the protection of the child which put children’s rights at the centre of its agenda.
“All children have right to life with a childhood. Harmful practices deny these rights. In the DRC there is the political will, reflected in the laws. A great social mobilization of all must allow to overcome habits that endanger the lives of girls and boys,”said Barbara Bentein, UNICEF DRC representative. “Their future is in our hands today.”
On June 18, the date chosen by the country for the official celebration of the day of the African in Kinshasa child a memorandum accompanied by a petition signed by children across all provinces, and addressed to the authorities will be presented to their Excellencies Ms. Minister of gender, family and child and Mr. the Minister of primary and secondary educationfor the action appropriate, as including the increase in the budget allocated to education. Turn me the Minister of gender, accompanied by children, will the memorandum to Parliament and the Governors as well as to the provincial assemblies.