Like every year on 16 June, the African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, where students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered. To celebrate the children of Africa and calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges they face in Africa, the DAC 2020 theme’s will reflect on ‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa’ as adopted by the African Union Executive Council, during its 34th Ordinary Session, held on 07 – 08 February 2019.
Due to the current COVID19 crisis, the commemoration of the event at the continental level will be done through a Webinar, which aims to examine the elements of a child-friendly justice system, including the application of a child rights-based approach and use the four principles of children’s rights as a tool for realizing access to a child-friendly justice system in Africa. The Webinar also aims at creating a platform for dialogue among children, policymakers, organizations working on children’s rights, and the academics on the major challenges in ensuring equal access to child-friendly justice to all groups of children in Africa. It will further serves as an experience sharing forum where positive trends, mechanisms, and structures in Member States will be discussed.
The virtual commemoration will be held on Zoom (access link and password will be sent in due course) and Livestreamed on the Committee’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/acerwc/
About the Day of the African Child
In 1991, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then OAU instituted the Day of the African Child (DAC) in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. At that time, students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages. The DAC serves to commemorate these children and the brave action they took in defence of their right. The DAC thus celebrates the children of Africa and calls for a serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges facing children across the continent.