Today is International Day of the African Child.
The theme this year is Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013.
The International Day of the African child is an annual event that started in 1991 by the then Organisation for African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, to honour children who protested against their poor education in Soweto, South Africa, on the June 16th 1976. Since then, this day has been adopted by the African Union to remember those children while promoting the well-being of African children with a focus on improving their education.
The theme for the year is interesting as it allows us to reflect on the progress achieved so far in addressing harmful practices faced by African children since 2013. It is essential to review the progress made by the African Union regarding harmful practices such as child/forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), breast flattening, child labour etc and to enable the complete elimination of these harmful practices by 2040.
The African Union has engaged in several productive initiatives that have resulted in the decline of harmful practices across Africa. An example is the “Selema” initiative aimed at ending FGM, saving 50 million girls at risk in Africa.
At Yellow Door, we support young people and adults affected by harmful practices and proactively advocate for elimination of these practices by raising awareness through educational sessions in schools and facilitating Zero Tolerance to FGM events in Southampton.
Tayo, our BAME ISVA and Harmful Practices worker shared this message:
“As an African myself and a global citizen, I would love to see:
- A world free of any form of Harmful Practices
- A safe and secure world for children
- A world where every child is educated or skilled
- A world where children’s rights are protected and are exercised including Africans, and the BAME community. This is my ideal World.”