By Ogar Monday
Stakeholders in Calabar the Cross River State capital have advocated for National Governments in the African continent to work actively to ensure that children in the continent enjoy their fundamental rights.
The Chairperson of Prevent Abuse of Children Today (PACT), Mrs. Eseoghene Edoja-Ibor, Sharon Frank of Second Chance Initiative the Cross River State commissioner for education, Goddy Ettah stated this at an event organized by PACT and Basic Rights Council Initiative (BRCI) to mark ‘The Day of the African Child’ recently.
“This year’s event is to ensure that Governments in Africa work actively for the enjoyment of the rights of children in Africa by 2020,” said Edoja-Ibor, who added that; “This is what this event aims to do because many children in Africa are still suffering from violence, whether physical, sexual, emotional violence and neglect.”
She said the day was set aside in 1991 following the 1976 uprising of some black South Africa students in Soweto, “who were protesting the poor quality of education they were receiving compared to their white counterparts during the apartheid period.
“The uprising led to a clash with police and to the death of many students. The day was set aside in 1991 by the African Union in honor of those who were murdered during the uprising and to condemn the excesses of the apartheid regime and to promote the rights of children.”
Mr. Ettah who was represented by a staff of the ministry of education, Mr. Oja Amang said the ministry was happy that such an event was holding, he told the children that there is a huge gap between hope and actualization of one’s dream, but that it is hard work and determination that is the vehicle for bridging the gap, and that lots of other persons have destroyed that future by taking the wrong routes.
However, Sharon Frank in her submission at the panel session posited that children have the responsibility of reporting cases of abuse around them.
She maintained that by doing that, they have become agents of change and probably prevent more children or even themselves from suffering.
This year’s edition had as its theme; “Accelerating The Protection, Empowerment And Equal Opportunities For Children In Africa By 2030,” with students of the West African Pupils Institute and Government Secondary School, State Housing Estate who were in attendance, participate in a debate and quiz competitions at the event .