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On 12 May 2021, the government of Namibia launched a National Plan to End Violence against Children and Youth at inter-ministerial dialogue on violence. This political declaration forms the government of Namibia’s commitment to delivering on the target 16.2 of the SDGs, Aspirations 6 and 7 of Agenda 2063 and 2040.


During the meeting, the Honorable Minister of Gender Equality and Social Welfare Doreen Sioke called on all Namibians to come together to end violence against children recognizing ending violence against children is a shared responsibility. Dr Joan Nyanyuki, Executive Director of the African Child Policy Forum and Chair of the African Partnership to End Violence against Children /APEVAC/ commended the government for the steps taken and for joining the growing number of countries that are committed to act and invest in ending violence against children. Namibia is now among the 32 countries in the world and the 9th country in Africa to join the global initiative to ending violence against children.

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May 8-10, 2018 African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) and Defence for Children International (DCI) Co-organised a three-day Continental Conference on Access to Justice for Children in Africa: Spotlighting the invisible, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Can justice for children approach to ensure that all children are better served and protected by the justice system? What are the pathways, and what rigorous evidence exists? These and other questions were deliberated by more than 200 children’s rights campaigners and defenders, lawyers, academics, journalists, heads of state, policy-makers and lawmakers during the conference, organised from 8-10 May 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by ACPF and DCI.

The conference’s key background report – Spotlighting the Invisible: Justice for Children in Africa – produced to better understand the problem and inform policy actions for accelerating the realisation of children’s right to access to justice brought out issues that can guide interventions.

Key amongst are that despite some progress, hundreds of thousands of African children are still being denied access to justice. Equally, the use of “informal justice” – traditional, religious, ethnic or community-based customs – presents big challenges in protecting children. While positive elements of these systems must not be disregarded, they are also not regulated so they follow the same international children’s rights standards as their formal counterparts. Further, certain groups of children considered vulnerable have a disproportionately difficult time in accessing justice through both the formal and informal justice mechanisms.

The conference Call for Action which was unanimously adopted and endorsed by all participants (https://app.box.com/s/86wy0cy0mdz9jdllhniw9vtm9z0u5t8x) aimed to serve as clarion to governments and all other stakeholders involved in child justice in Africa to intensify their efforts, to reach out to the most vulnerable children, and to ensure the implementation of agreed universal standards for the rights and protection of our children. Download the conference materials including the report, call to action, programme, concept note, participant list and presentations here.

JUBA/NAIROBI, December 15, 2017 - South Sudan is in the throes of a tragedy for children that affects more than half the child population - victims of malnutrition, disease, forced recruitment, violence and the loss of schooling - UNICEF said in a report released today.

Years of insecurity and upheaval have had a “staggering impact on children”, threatening an entire generation, the report, Childhood under Attack, says.

The numbers tell a grim story:
  • Almost three million children are severely food insecure;
  • more than one million are acutely malnourished;
  • 2.4 million have been forced from their homes;
  • two million children out of school, and if the current situation persists, only one in 13 children are likely to finish primary school;
  • an estimated 900,000 children suffer from psychological distress;
  • more than 19,000 children have been recruited in the ranks of armed forces and armed groups;
  • and more than 2,300 children have been killed or injured since the conflict first erupted in December 2013, with hundreds of incidents of rape and sexual assault against children having been reported.

“No child should ever experience such horrors and deprivations,” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF’s Regional Director in Eastern and Southern Africa, “and yet children in South Sudan are facing them on a daily basis. The children of South Sudan urgently require a peaceful and protective environment. Anything less places children and women at even greater risk of grave violations and abuse.”

Getting assistance to those most in need continues to be a challenge in many insecure areas of the country. Humanitarian organisations in South Sudan are looking for the full implementation of a recent Presidential order calling for unrestricted access to those in urgent need of aid.

UNICEF has been delivering lifesaving assistance to children across the country since the crisis started in December 2013, including: treatment of more than 600,000 for severe acute malnutrition, vaccination against measles for more than 3.3 million children, the provision of primary health care services to more than 3.6 million children, and supporting the access to safe water supply for 1.8 million people. This has been done despite the huge challenges faced in a country that ranks among the world’s most dangerous for aid workers. Since the conflict started in 2013, 95 aid workers have been killed, including 25 killed so far this year.

In releasing Childhood under Attack, UNICEF warned that new funding is essential in order to provide critical assistance to children and women. In 2018 UNICEF requires $183 million, and currently has a funding gap of 77 per cent (or $141 million).

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  • Email: secretariat@endviolenceinafrica.org
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