By Constance Ndeleko
Ahead of the Day of the African Child (DAC)celebrations on 16th June 2020- Child Participation
Africa is home and what is a home without children? Children are our most profound valuable resources we could ever ask for, they are the future generation, and they are the creatives who will wheel our ever evolving technology.
Consequently, “the greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” — Denis Waitley, motivational speaker
As we commemorate Day of the African Child on 16th of June this year, we are all celebrating it in a unique way. Contrary, to the usual convening, we will be converge virtually to celebrate all African children under the theme: Access to a child friendly justice system in Africa.
In a bid to make this day a success children have been participating on different online platform such as Webinar and Skype to voice out issues affecting them and giving recommendations on how we can achieve harmonious actions to protect their rights and well-being under the justice system.
In the presence of guardians, caregivers and parents, children have succeeded to join in the ongoing discussions online on how to better the justice system to favor children who find themselves, in contact with the law.
Online convening have emerged to be a reliable way of communicating during this pandemic since most countries are either on total or partial lock down and cessation of movements have been enforced following directives given by different governments.
With protective measure in place to stop the spread of Corona Virus, children are forced conduct different activities including learning on the online platforms. This however, has led children to participate from the comfort of their home by the giving their opinions on how we can access child friendly justice systems and how we can make changes to benefit the well-being of an African child.
On the 9th of June, 2020 a convening was met for the launch of the Day of the African child in Nairobi to structure smooth celebrations towards the main day. In a speech by director of children Services Mr. Noah Sanganyi; “the commemoration of DAC gives the country an opportunity to consolidate efforts to overcome challenges impeding the realization of children justice.”
Nelson Marwa states, “Kenya takes cognizant of the fact that access to justice is a fundamental right and foundation for the promotion of all other human rights, a cause that made the country to be at the forefront in the domestication of the international and regional instruments which have been included in the constitution.”
Kenya is developing statute to address justice for children that will also address emerging issues in the children’s sector and placing measures to ensure that justice system is accessible and child friendly, says Ps. Marwa.
Nonetheless, with the ongoing preparations towards the big day, children have to be at the forefront to give their opinions on how changes can be implemented to fit an accessible and a child friendly justice system not only in Kenya but in Africa.
We can enhance child participation by allowing our children to participate in the ongoing forums to allow their voice to be heard for the better of the future days to come.
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