Child Sensitive Social Policies Conference 2014
Over the past decade, there has been an increasing discussion of ‘vulnerable
children’ in the international development literature as the objective of
development intervention parallel to the traditional concept of child agency.
This is coupled with changing political-economic processes at global and local
levels. In order to respond to these changes, and to address the effects of
poverty, inequity and inequality on children's and women's rights, UNICEF
Zimbabwe is increasingly working in public policy analysis and advocacy with
governments and development partners to build support and political capital in
favour of effective policies, laws and budgets that promote the rights and well
being of children and women.
The Conference – themed - ‘Towards a Child Sensitive Society in Africa’, seeks
to explore the centrality of children in African contexts.
It is hoped that this conference will culminate in innovative and feasible
approaches to child welfare in Africa, with measurable outputs, which may be
integrated into government and private initiatives.
- It offers this multiplicity of child rights stakeholders an
opportunity to revisit the thought-provoking Universalist and Cultural Relativist
debates of childhood, with a view of finding common ground between the child
rights principles and cultural norms still viewed at odds with each other.
- It provides a platform for interaction on the
marginalisation of vulnerable children and the effectiveness of interventions
which address child poverty and social exclusion.
- It creates an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with
the trending factors that increase the susceptibility of children to various
forms of abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation.
- Time has been allocated for lively interactions between
delegates through round table break away sessions and other activities to
discuss the translation of child rights policy into practice.
- In keeping with the right to be heard and taken seriously,
this conference provides a rare platform for the children themselves to engage
directly with all stakeholders on issues that affect them.
The papers will be presented in sessions based on the sub-themes below
1 – Reconciling Child Rights and Culture
2 – Social Inclusion, Poverty, Social Budgeting
3 – Protecting our children from violence, exploitation and abuse
Children’s Plenary– “Listen to me and take me seriously”
The right to be heard extends to all actions and decisions that affect
children’s lives – in the family, in school, in local communities, and at
national political level. It applies both to issues that affect individual
children and children as a constituency. However, it is not sufficient to
give children the right to be listened to. It is also important to take what
they have to say seriously.
In keeping with this important child rights principle on the right of children
to participate in matters that affect them, four children of diverse
backgrounds and abilities will be given an opportunity to address and engage
with the conference delegates in a plenary session wholly dedicated to them, to
air their views on any of the areas covered in the sub - themes. The
selection of children will be done in a socially inclusive manner.
Break away sessions-
There will be break away session themed “From policy to practice”
intended to break the monotony of the plenary sessions and allow delegates to
engage with each other in groups on issues raised in the track sessions.
Particular focus will be on state performance in the following areas: alignment
of national law; policy and interventions with international standards; the
creation of institutional mechanisms for coordination, implementation and
monitoring and evaluation of child rights policy; and in social budgeting for
There will be keynote addresses, plenary sessions where experts in the child
rights field will address the delegates; conference paper presentations and
posters presentations (selected through the abstract reviewing process); and
break-away sessions. In keeping with this important child rights
principle on the right of children to participate in matters that affect them,
four children of diverse backgrounds and abilities will be given an opportunity
to address and engage with the conference delegates in a plenary session wholly
dedicated to them, to air their views on any of the areas covered in the sub -
There will be a total of 4 guest speakers at the opening and closing
ceremonies; 4 plenary presentations; 12 Conference papers; 4 child
presentations. There will also be 15 poster presentations derived from
the selected submissions and a breakaway session where delegates will discuss
in three groups the issues coming out of each of the track presentations.
For more details, please visit: http://www.wua.ac.zw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=177