Almost all countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Somalia remains the only country in the region that has not yet become party to both these treaties. Zambia has ratified the CRC, but not the African Charter.
The ratification process for the two Optional Protocols to the CRC has been much slower. Six countries, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe still have not signed or ratified the Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, while countries such as Ethiopia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe have not signed or ratified the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict.
Only seven of the 20 countries in ESA have enacted a comprehensive Children’s Act to bring their national child protection legislative framework in line with the CRC, and many countries still lack the necessary laws, legal systems and enforcement mechanisms to protect their children against violence and abuse.
More on child protection