REPORT: African children subject to 'alarming' levels of violence

[11 February 2015] - This report, by The African Report on Violence against Children, the first comprehensive analysis of violence against children in Africa, comes at an opportune moment in the history of child rights in Africa and the world. It comes at a time when the child rights community is taking stock of the progress made in advancing child rights 25 years since the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The report makes an in-depth exposition of the magnitude as well as the causes and consequences of violence against children and analyses the various vulnerability factors that  underlie or aggravate violence such as, gender, social practices, homelessness and disability. 

The report looks into the multifarious community and family cosmos within which the African child grows. It analyses how a complex web of community values and socio-cultural factors bear upon the child’s upbringing and protection, and how some of these factors may occasionally expose the child to violence.

The report seeks to find answers for why the problem of violence still persists despite the proliferation of child protection programmes and services by critically examining both the achievements and the gaps cutting across the legislative and programmatic realms. 

Building upon existing efforts and persisting gaps the report lays down the priorities for action at various levels and the interface that is required amongst the various actors for better protection of children. The report calls for a shift towards a systems approach to child protection that emphasises prevention and collaborative responses at multiple levels, including at the family and community levels.

The report echoes what others have reiterated in the past that violence, in whatever form, is unacceptable and cannot be justified on cultural or religious grounds whatsoever.

Read the full report attached.

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