General Comment No1 Launched!

The General Comment on article 30 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) was at the centre of the Child Safeguarding Conference on Thursday 04 September, in Cape Town. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) launched its first ever General Comment which deals with children of incarcerated parents and primary caregivers.

A view of the panel

A view of the panel

Adopted in November 2013 during its 21st Session, General Comment (GC) on Article 30 is an authoritative interpretation of this particular provision of the African Children’s Charter. The main objectives of the General Comment are to strengthen understanding of Article 30, and to define the legislation, policy and practice necessary to achieve its full implementation. Bearing in mind several cases of children who are incarcerated with their parents, the Committee asserts through this General Comment that children should not be incarcerated with their parents.

            Early this year  in April, a sad case of a girl whose aged one year and half who died by suffocation in a prison in Kinshasa (DRC), three days after she was detained with her father who was accused of stealing a plastic chair. http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2014/08/22/debut-des-plaidoiries-dans-laffaire-de-la-fillette-morte-dans-cachot-de-kinshasa/[1]. There are several other reported cases of children who are being incarcerated with their parents. The Committee further states in this General Comment that the provisions of Article 30 do not just apply to mothers, but also to fathers and primary caregivers who may be a foster parent or another family member such as a grand-parent.  This is because large numbers of children in Africa are orphaned or living separated from their parents but may still require the protections guaranteed in Article 30.  Article 30 applies when primary caregivers are accused or found guilty of infringing the criminal law. This encompasses all stages of criminal proceedings starting from arrest and continuing through to release and integration. The provisions of Article 30 apply whether the primary caregiver is in custody or subject to non-custodial measures.

            The Committee recommends that State Parties widely disseminate the GC across government.  It should also be made known to different groups of professionals working for and with children, including judges, lawyers and legal aid providers, teachers, guardians, social workers, officials of public or private welfare institutions, as well as to children and civil society.  States Parties are also encourage to include information in their periodic reporting to the Committee on the challenges they face and the measures they have taken to implement Article 30.

Watch the launching ceremony on Youtube:

http://youtu.be/N8LWy281p9Q


[1] http://radiookapi.net/actualite/2014/08/22/debut-des-plaidoiries-dans-laffaire-de-la-fillette-morte-dans-cachot-de-kinshasa/

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The Advocacy Mission in South Sudan closes

The Advocacy Mission of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERW) was concluded today by a well attended Press Conference where the Head of Delegation, Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen presented the findings of the Committee during this   one-week  mission.

 

Click below to download the Press Statement:

PRESS STATEMENT ACERWC Advocacy Mission in South Sudan 03-09-2014

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ACERWC Delegation arrived in Juba to assess the situation of children affected by the armed conflict

Juba, 03 August 2014. -  The Delegation of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) and its Secretariat led by Prof. Julia Sloth-Nielsen, arrived in the afternoon, at the Juba Airport to conduct an advocacy mission on the situation of children affected by the conflict.
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The Mission is undertaken following the concerns of the Committee on the humanitarian challenges hindering the protection and well-being of children expressed in its Resolution adopted during its 23rd Ordinary Session (09-16 April, 2014) in Addis Ababa.
The one-week advocacy mission aims to  “advocate for improved protection and response to children affected by the armed conflict. Advocacy for ratification of the African Children’s Charter by the Republic of South Soudan in honor of children in South Sudan and in Africa is also a priority of the Committee during this mission” said Prof. Sloth-Nielsen  during the Media Briefing in the VIP Hall of the Juba Airport. The Advocacy Mission of the ACERWC in South Sudan provides an opportunity for identifying children’s needs and existing supports in the current context of armed conflicts.
High level meetings with government officials will be held as well as consultations with Civil Societies Organizations.  A meeting with the National Child Rights Coalition of South Sudan will take place on 07 August, 2014.Field visits to Bor (Jonglei State) and Minkaman (Lakes State) to gather the direct views of children affected and their needs will be conducted on Tuesday, 05 August, 2014, in collaboration with UNHCR, UNICEF and the support of the UNMISS Child Protection Unit.
A Press Conference on the unfolding of the mission will be held on 08 August 2014, 11:00 AM at the Juba Grand Hotel. Media representatives are hereby invited to attend the Press Conference. A report on the outcome of the mission will be presented after the mission.
Follow the mission on www.facebook/acerwc and Twitter @acerwc
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Advocacy Mission of the ACERWC on the situation of children in South Sudan

The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) in accordance to its mandate to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the child, will undertake an advocacy mission in the Republic of South Sudan from 03-09 August, 2014.

The Committee had raised concerns on the situation of children affected by the armed conflict in a resolution ACERWC Resolution on the situation of Children in CAR and South Sudan adopted during its 23rd Session (09-16 April, 2014). The main objective of the mission is to advocate for improved protection and response to children affected by the armed conflict in South Sudan. Particularly, the Committee will assess the impact of armed conflict on children in South Sudan and determine key capacity and resource gaps for the prevention and response for children affected by the conflict. The mission is undertaken in collaboration with the AU Liaison Office in South Sudan, African Union Peace and Security Department (AUPSD), the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), UNICEF, UNHCR, Save the Children and National Child Rights Coalition.

The Mission will also advocate for the ratification of the African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). Being the youngest State on the continent, the Republic of South Sudan has signed,  but not ratified the African Children’s Charter.

Click below to download the Press Release:

Press Release ACERWC Advocacy Mission in the Republic of South Sudan

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OUTCOME STATEMENT by the Children on the Commemoration of the DAC 2014

Theme: “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa.”

Guided by the theme of the 2014 Day of the African Child, which is, “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa”;

Recalling that free and compulsory primary education is a right for all children in Africa, and that this right is protected by the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international and regional human rights instruments;

Reaffirming that education is critically linked to Africa’s social and economic development and each child’s ability to realize their full potential;

Deeply concerned that despite the existence of global, continental, and sub- regional  commitments and investment in education by African States, millions of children in Africa still  do not have access to safe, quality and equitable education;

We, children and other participants attending the commemoration of the Day of the African Child on 16 June 2014 at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, on behalf of all children in Africa; Hereby strongly urge the African Union Commission, African Union Member States, UN agencies and international and regional organisations to work in partnership and focus efforts;

Read more by clicking on the link:

Outcome Statement by Children DAC 2014

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