Heal Zimbabwe statement on the Day of the African child
Heal Zimbabwe joins the rest of Africa in celebrating the Day of the African Child. The day celebrated every year on the 16th June, was set aside to remember the young people of South Africa who were massacred in Soweto in 1976 for protesting against apartheid system of education. This years’ commemorations are being held under the theme “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s rights”. This year’s theme is part of the efforts to elevate child protection agenda in conflict situation in Africa as well as guarantee the protection and preservation of life and well-being of the African children.
This year’s commemorations also calls for African governments to come up with legislation that seeks to protect and elevate the rights of children in Africa. For Zimbabwe, this year’s occasion of the Day of the African child offers an opportunity to reflect on section 19 of the Constitution which provide for children’s rights where every child is to be protected from maltreatment, neglect or any form of abuse and have access to appropriate education and training. It’s also an opportunity to evaluate progress made towards achieving Zimbabwe’s violent election episodes particularly the 2008 elections violence which left many children displaced, orphaned and vulnerable after their parents were either killed or displaced because of political violence. This robbed the children of bread winners and better education, health and shelter.
Heal Zimbabwe calls on the government of Zimbabwe to adopt policies and measures to ensure that every child is protected from violence, abuse or torture and be protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse. The National Peace and reconciliation process is a window of opportunity in dealing with conflict in Zimbabwe thereby inculcating a culture of peace and an environment that protect all children’s rights and other fundamental human rights.