DAY OF THE AFRICAN CHILD (DAC): 16 JUNE 2022

To learn more about Day of the African Child Africa, visit this African Union (AU)’s African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) website: https://www.acerwc.africa/day-of-the-african-child-dac/

Today we join the rest of the African region in commemorating Day of the African Child. In South Africa, 16 June is Youth Day, a public holiday. The theme for this year is Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013.

As social workers, our work with children is significant. We drive development programs targeted at children, we strengthen families and communities and we have a policy role too. We also have a political role, and a big lesson from this day comes from its history. On this day in 1976, over a hundred children were murdered by armed police officers in Soweto, South Africa during a demonstration against educational segregation, apartheid and colonisation. Thousands were injured. About 10 000 – 20 000 marched in what became known as the Soweto Uprising. The lesson here is, if children find means to become political, how much can social workers do politically.

African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC)

The ACERWC draws its mandate from articles 32-46 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which was adopted by the Heads of State and Government of the OAU on 11th July 1990 and came into force on 29th November 1999. One of their roles is to organise DAC. Previous DAC themes are shown int he table.

YearTheme OF DAC
2002“Popularizing the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child”
2003“Birth Registration”
2004“Child and the Family”
2005“Africa’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children: Our Collective Responsibility”
2006“Right to Protection; Stop Violence against Children”
2007“Combat Child Trafficking”
2008“Child Participation”
2009“Africa Fit for Children: A Call for Accelerated Action Towards Child Survival”
2010“Planning and Budgeting for the Rights of the Child: A Collective Responsibility”
2011“All Together for Urgent Actions in Favor of Street Children”
2012“The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfill.”
2013“Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices affecting Children: our Collective Responsibility“
2014“A Child friendly, quality ,free and compulsory education for all children in Africa”
2015“25 Years after the adoption of the African Children’s Charter: Accelerating our Collective Efforts to End Child Marriage in Africa”
2016“Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights”
2017“The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating Protection, Empowerment and Equal Opportunity”
2018“No Child Left Behind”
2019“Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First “
2020“Access to a child-friendly Justice System in Africa “
2021“30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for children “
2022“Eliminating Harmful Practices Affecting Children: Progress on Policy & Practice since 2013″