Overview - Programming to Realise Children's Rights


Message from Dr. Hamid El Bashir Ibrahim - UNICEF Zambia Representative

unicef, zambia, country representative
© UNICEF Zambia - 2013/Maseko
Dr. Hamid El Bashir Ibrahim, UNICEF Zambia Representative

Welcome to UNICEF Zambia’s Website. We value your support so much – whether it is supporting the Government’s Child Health Weeks, being a “U-Reporter,” supporting our campaigns like “Brothers for Life,” or even just taking the time to follow our work through this portal or on our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube platforms.

20th November marks an important milestone for children the world over. 25 years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure that countries across the world can respect the rights of the child. Today, we also launch the 2015 The State of the World’s Children Report– Reimagine the future: Innovation for every child”.

I am happy and proud that Zambia signed the CRC in 1989 and ratified it in 1991. As a signatory to the CRC, Zambia has been honouring its reporting obligations by sending periodic reports to Geneva with the last one being that of August 2014.

The big question to ask now is: Is Zambia and the world a better place for children after 25 years of the CRC? As UNICEF we are happy to note that there has been tremendous progress in advancing child rights – with a huge reduction in the numbers of children dying before the age of five and increased access to education and clean water. 

However and as indicated in The State of the World’s Children report, there is a need for urgent action by all of us to prevent millions of children from missing out on the benefits of innovation. Connectivity and collaboration can fuel new global networks to leverage innovation to reach every child, according to the children’s agency.

There is need for governments, development professionals, businesses, activists and communities to work together to push forward new ways to find solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing children – and to find new ways of scaling up the best and most promising local innovations.

Child participants in the UNCRC@25 commemoration in the parliament building
© UNICEF Zambia/2014/Maseko
Child participants during the official opening of the UNCRC@25 commemoration in the National Assembly

As UNICEF Executive Director Mr Anthony Lake notes in the report, for innovation to benefit every child, we have to be more innovative – rethinking the way we foster and fuel new ideas to solve our oldest problems. The best solutions to our toughest challenges won’t come exclusively either from the top down or the grassroots up, or from one group of nations to another. They will come from new problem solving networks and communities of innovation that cross borders and cross sectors to reach the hardest to reach – and they will come from young people, adolescents and children themselves.

UNICEF remains committed to ensuring the best interests of the child are taken into account in everything we do for children. I am therefore happy to acknowledge the launch today of a tool- kit to guide development practitioners to have a rights-based lens in their work. This document is a result of collaboration between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

I am very appreciative to note the support of the European Union through the MDGi programme under the leadership of my friend, Ambassador Gilles Hervio, for funding the CRC event. What a tremendous contribution MDGi is as it helps Zambia accelerate its progress to reaching the MDGs and respecting the rights of every child.

Finally, I commend the Government of the Republic of Zambia for its commitment to ensuring Zambian children realise their rights. One of the ways has been through the Parliamentary Caucus on Children (PCC) with which we as UNICEF have collaborated to advocate for the protection of child rights and thank them most sincerely.

I am happy to note that the PCC has used the CRC to influence important regulations in Zambia such as the 2011 Education Act, 2007 Matrimonial Act, Anti Gender-Based Violence Act and the Anti-Human Trafficking Act. The PCC helped to include the voices of Zambian children in the draft constitution by undertaking district consultations and making a submission to the Technical Committee. 

Lastly, to the children I say continue with your interest in issues that concern you. We are here for you and please inspire others to learn about children’s rights for you are tomorrow’s leaders.

I thank you.


Dr. Hamid El Bashir Ibrahim

UNICEF Zambia Representative













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