The signatories from across Africa and Asia commit to end violence against children, strengthen child rights and advocate to increase budgets for children
Zanzibar, 1 December 2017 – At the International Child Rights Conference in Zanzibar on sharing best practice and policy on child protection, justice and participation, convened by the World Future Council (WFC), representatives and policymakers from Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zanzibar and experts on children’s rights and representatives from civil society signed the Zanzibar Declaration on Securing Children’s Rights .
In addition, there were detailed country commitments on how each jurisdiction will take forward their own child rights and protection plans. The declaration was facilitated by Dr. Amb. Gertrude Ibengwé Mongella, WFC Honorary Councillor and former President of the Pan-African Parliament.
The signatories from 12 countries have committed to taking strong action to eradicate all forms of violence against children, through raising awareness and sensitization on violence against girls and boys, harmful practices (e.g. child marriage) and corporal punishment in all settings.
In the Declaration, the signatory countries agreed to strengthen formal and informal child protection systems at all levels with a particular focus on prevention programmes (including the increased involvement of fathers and male caregivers, which was seen as a key theme that needs strengthening in all countries). In addition, the signatories committed to targeting the training of the social workforce, enhancing coordination at all levels and increasing budgets to ensure the safety of children.
They agreed to facilitate effective implementation of local and national programmes, policies and National Plans of Action on child protection and participation, as part of national strategies to effectively tackle child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
The signatories thereby acknowledge the commitment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end all forms of violence against girls and boys by 2030 (especially SDG 5 and 16), and to promote participation of children.
Dr. Auma Obama, Chair of the World Future Council's 'Rights of the Children' commission, and Chair and Founder of the Sauti Kuu Foundation, also attended the conference. She said:
“Violence against girls and boys harms children and their futures. It therefore also harms their families and society at large. This conference and its declaration are a great step forward towards a child-friendly and a future-just world. Legislators now urgently need to work in their countries to apply best practices for child protection, justice and participation.”
The conference was convened with the support of Janina Özen-Otto, JUA Foundation and Michael Otto Foundation.