The African Union has called on all its Member States to commemorate the Day of the African Child on 16 June 2012 by taking steps to promote, realised and honour the rights of children with disabilities.
The African Committee of Experts has strongly recommended that Member States make concerted efforts to submit reports on the implementation of activities for the celebration of the Day of the African Child (DAC), 2012.
The aim of the celebration of the DAC in 2012 is to call attention to the duties of African Governments to protect, respect, promote and fulfil the rights of children with disabilities. The specific objectives are:
- to raise awareness about children with disabilities – their rights, capabilities and situation;
- to facilitate a clear understanding of the duties on Member States;
- to encourage a review of the current legal framework with a view to strengthening this for the benefit of children’s rights;
- to advocate amongst Member States for better protection of the rights of children with disabilities; and,
- to identify areas of concern, aligned with Call for Accelerated Action, where government action is urgently required.
Six areas of concern highlighted by the Committee where action is urgently required by all role players including governments, NGOs, donors and others are:
- The link between poverty and disability. Policies geared towards to attaining the MDG goals must prioritise children with disabilities living in poverty.
- Social attitudes, stigma and discrimination.
- Access to education.
- Violence against children with disabilities.
- The importance of statistics and data collection.
- The right of children with disabilities to be heard and participate.
The concept note prepared by the Committee of Experts provides guidance on the steps that Member States ought to take.
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