THE rights and protection of children and the youth should be first on the agenda of all interventions governments undertake to ensure a brighter future for young people.
In a special message to commemorate the Day of the African Child, President Hage Geingob encouraged Namibia and members states of the Southern African Development Community Region (SADC) to scale up such interventions in favour of the African Child.
“I urge the entire SADC Region to act in concert as we work together for the protection of the rights of the African Child within the framework of the SADC Minimum Package of Services for Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth, and other regional instruments. This is a day to pause, reflect and act for the future of the African Child. Namibia has done considerable work on protecting the rights of the child, ranking in the top ten child-friendly countries in Africa.”
Dr. Geingob said the Namibian Constitution provides for the protection of the rights of Children and Government has social protection mechanisms for orphans and vulnerable children.
“With the entry into force in February 2019 of the Child Care and Protection Act 3 of 2015, Government is shifting gear by creating a new architecture to consolidate the gains of the past 29 years. In doing so, Namibia is scaling up interventions and commits to do more to realize a brighter future for the youth and the African Child.
The President said Namibia has ratified all the major conventions and protocols in the area of Children’s Rights, and was recently ranked 7th in Africa in the Child- Friendliness Index compiled by the African Child Policy Forum.
Since 1991, the Day of the African Child has been commemorated every year in remembrance of thousands of black children that took to the streets in Soweto, South Africa to protest against the inferior Bantu Education System on 16 June 1976.
The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First”.
In his personal capacity Dr. Geingob said fathers play a crucial role in nurturing children and families.
“On this day, I wish all fathers, a very Happy Fathers Day!”