June 16, 2019

Day of the African Child 2019

Humanitarian action in Africa, children’s rights first

Why June 16?

The Day of the African Child commemorates the student uprising of June 16, 1976 in Soweto, South Africa. At that time, students demonstrated against the poor quality of the education they were receiving and asked to be trained in their own languages.
This day commemorates the courageous actions undertaken by these young people to defend their rights and, in general, the children of Africa. It invites introspection and serious engagement to address the many challenges facing African children.

International Day of African Youth

IDAY stands for International Day of the African Youth, which is the raison d’être of our African network. It is about giving hope to African youth, ensuring that its fundamental rights are respected, and that its voice is heard.
Every year, IDAY members commemorate June 16 on the theme of the right to quality education for all in Africa.

Message of Yaguine & Fodé

This year, the network wishes to carry its message through the one left by Yaguine and Fodé, two young Guineans found dead in Brussels on August 2, 1999, in the landing gear of an aircraft arriving from Conakry, Guinea. This year marks the 20th anniversary of their death.

In their letter, addressed to European leaders, Yaguine and Fodé wrote their distress and called for help for African youth.

Help us, we are suffering terribly in Africa, help us, we have problems and there are gaps in children’s rights.

Among the problems we face are war, disease and malnutrition. As for children’s rights, […] we have too many schools but a great lack of education and teaching.

In 20 years, the situation has not improved. The challenges of the 21st century amplified by the greed of the industrial and financial sector (soil and water pollution, human exploitation, land grabbing, deforestation…) and climate change are terrible threats to the African youth.

IDAY network

For more than 10 years, the IDAY network has sought to respond to this call by creating a vast network of collective actions, by identifying and combating barriers to quality education for all (poverty, malnutrition, disease, religious, ethnic or gender discrimination…) and by calling on the authorities who are primarily responsible for upholding the fundamental rights of their citizens.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

This day is also an opportunity to recall the Convention on the Rights of the Children which is one of the international legal instruments to guarantee and protect human rights. Adopted in 1989, its objective is to protect the rights of all children in the world through 54 articles that enshrine all civil and political rights of children, as well as all their economic, social and cultural rights.

This Convention enshrines 4 principles that must govern the implementation of all the rights it provides:
> Non-discrimination
> The best interests of the child
> The right to life, survival and development
> Respect for the views of the child

Celebration within the network

As every year, IDAY coalitions celebrated June 16 in several ways.
Here are pictures from the members of the network.