Assessment : Aspiration 7


By 2020, States -

  • should have prohibited corporal punishment as a form of discipline or punishment in schools, institutions and in the criminal justice system;
  • should have set a minimum age for admission into employment at 15 years or higher; this minimum age should correspond to the minimum age for completing compulsory schooling;
  • should have prohibited all forms of harmful labour practices and child trafficking, and ensured the effective implementation of these laws;
  • should have domesticated laws designating the minimum age of marriage as 18 years, in compliance with international law;
  • should have prohibited all forms of physical abuse, sexual violence and exploitation, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and child pornography, and ensured the effective implementation of these laws;
  • should have engaged with the UN, AU and aid agencies to ensure that children are protected from being sexually exploited by aid workers, military personnel and peacekeepers, and that the perpetrators of such acts be prosecuted and punished;
  • should, in conjunction with relevant stakeholders, have supported a comprehensive country-wide study to identify factors inhibiting the effective implementation of laws protecting children against violence, abuse and exploitation, and  formulating strategies  for their successful implementation;
  • should have embarked on public information and awareness campaigns for the abolition of harmful practices, initiated collective discussions involving the communities concerned, and undertaken capacity building of professionals working with and for children;
  • should have strengthened collaboration with traditional and faith leaders and built upon their influential voice to enhance awareness among families and communities about the detrimental impact of harmful practices on children; to clarify that these practices are not based on or legitimised by religion; and to support a process of social change which may lead to the lasting abandonment of these practices;
  • should have adopted and effectively implemented legislation prohibiting all forms of violence against children, including new and emerging manifestations, supported by detailed legal provisions on counselling, reporting, investigation and prosecution of incidents of violence against children;
  • should have provided for a means of redress and of fighting impunity, as well as for addressing the root- causes behind harmful practices, including discrimination against particularly vulnerable children;
  • should have removed from all national legislation any legal provisions providing justification for, or allowing consent to, harmful practices against children, including on grounds of culture, tradition, honour or religion;
  • should  have    taken   legislative and administrative measures, including the review of legislation and policies, and adopted a comprehensive strategy to eliminate attacks on, killing of and discrimination against children with albinism;
  • should have put in place quality programmes and services to prevent and respond to violence against children, including by linking with broader social protection programmes and by promoting and supporting community-based child protection interventions;
  • should have enhanced collective advocacy efforts to promote non-violent values and awareness raising to transform attitudes condoning or normalising violence against children at all levels;
  • should have facilitated awareness raising regarding child marriage by engaging with civil society organisations, grass-roots organisations, traditional and religious leaders and the private sector, including the media;
  • should have regulated the use of the media (radio and television) and social media in abusing children;
  • should have adopted legislation abolishing female genital mutilation, sensitised and trained health care workers to refrain from conducting medicalised forms of FGM and to educate the community;
  • should have increased the percentage of adolescents having access to family planning services.

By 2020, traditional and religious leaders -

  • should have played a decisive role in the protection of children from violence,including harmful practices,by using their influential voice to enhance awareness amongst families and communities about the detrimental impact of harmful practices on children; to clarify that these practices are not based on or legitimised by religion; and to support a process of social change that may lead to the permanent abandonment of these practices.

By 2020, academic institutions, research centres, think-tanks -

  • should have engaged in children’s rights-focused research and studies, in particular to better understand the ‘implementation gap’; this research should be action-oriented, should be informed by societal needs and demands, with broad stakeholder involvement, should be multi-disciplinary in nature, and should not be dominated by lawyers or legal/juridical approaches; research should be directed at informing effective interventions.

By 2020, the African Children’s Committee -

  • should have identified influential norm custodians who are able to influence and shape norms, in consultation with national actors;
  • should, in collaboration with the think-tanks and academic institutions, have been involved in research, knowledge gathering about the ‘implementation gap’ and ‘best practices’ of effecting social change.

By 2020, the national partners -

  • should have initiated and engaged in national dialogue to discuss the feasibility of abolishing and eradicating corporal punishment from the private setting of the home;
  • working with children, should have a child protection policy and safeguarding policy in place, in order to ensure a safe environment for children by, for example, minimising risks of child abuse.

By 2020, the AU -

  • should have accelerated the End of Child Marriage in Africa project in the relevant countries through the development, elaboration and implementation of national strategies and action plans to end child marriage;
  • should have taken further measures to raise awareness and advocate for the end of other forms of violence against children.