Limpret Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has upped calls for Government, development partners and other stakeholders to ensure the fulfilment of children’s rights by improving the infrastructure at rural schools.
The organisation said all children should benefit from STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics Government initiative) and BEAM (Basic Education Assistance Model) as well as accelerating efforts to end child marriages.
Speaking at the belated Day of the African Child at SOS Children’s Village in Bulawayo last week, ZHRC Commissioner Mr Japhet Ndabeni Ncube said there was a need for the commission to draw attention to some of the challenges facing children in the country.
“Agenda 2030 envisions for children, a world which invests in its children and in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation with a particular focus on those in vulnerable situations. For the realisation of the Agenda 2030, it is important for children to be part of the process from initiation of the initiative to the end as the popular slogan states ‘Nothing about us without us’ which communicates the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the groups affected by the policy, in this case — children,” he said.
Mr Ndabeni Ncube said it was important that children participate in policy making processes and human rights awareness, raising activities that included human rights clubs and other initiatives which help to ensure children’s voices were heard.
The Day of the African Child is celebrated annually on 16 June in recognition of the courage of the South African students who marched for their rights to education in 1976 and to take stock and inspire actions towards resolving the challenges that were faced by African children in different countries and circumstances.
The guest of honour, the Minister of State for Bulawayo Province, Cde Nomthandazo Eunice Moyo, said the Government was well aware of the importance of human rights hence the establishment the National Human Rights Commission which was making progress in the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights.
“The Government as the main duty bearer continues to make every effort to ensure children’s rights are protected in a sustainable manner through our laws,” said Cde Moyo.
The celebrations were under the theme, “accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunities for children in Africa by 2030.”