Heal Zimbabwe statement on the Day of the African Child.
Heal Zimbabwe joins the nation and the rest of Africa in commemorating the Day of the African Child. The day is commemorated every year on the 16th of June. It 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 year’s commemorations are being held under the theme “Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030″.
The theme for this year is a call to African Governments to create an environment that is safe and guarantees the protection of children and eliminates any form of discrimination by availing equal opportunities to children in Africa.
For Zimbabwe, this year’s occasion of the Day of the African child offers an opportunity to evaluate progress made in ensuring that children are protected from any form of abuse. Section 19 of the Constitution provides 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. This form of abuse that children must be protected from include political violence. Past episodes of political violence, particularly the 2008 elections left several children displaced, orphaned and vulnerable after their parents/guardians were attacked. 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 that ensure that every child is protected from violence and torture. The children must also be protected from harmful cultural practices, exploitation and all forms of abuse. The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) that is yet to be established, presents an opportunity that will go a long way in ensuring that children are protected from political violence and conflicts in Zimbabwe thereby inculcating a culture of peace and an environment that protect all children’s rights and other fundamental human rights.
Heal Zimbabwe under its National Peace Campaign for peaceful 2018 elections #13MillionVoicesForPeace will commemorate the day tomorrow in Mazowe with youth from various wards competing for a Peace Cup. Six soccer and six netball teams with battle it out to scoop the Peace Trophy.