Inaugural State of Children’s Address
World Children's Day
A better future, for every child
The inaugural State of Children’s Address, held within a simulated parliamentary setting, kicked off the World Children’s Day activities in Botswana. The Chair of the National Children’s Consultative Forum, Unaludo Isaac, delivered the State of Children’s Address the theme, a better future for every child. The address was livestreamed and broadcasted across national television and radio, bringing attention to the issues affecting children and young people.
Spotlight on children's issues
The State of Children’s Address delved into key issues impacting children and young people’s lives. It highlighted the distressing reality of children and young people facing abuse within their homes and communities, exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender-Based Violence claimed lives, neglect became a pervasive issue, and the absence of parental presence due to preoccupations left children vulnerable. Additionally, Isaac pointed out that children in hard-to-reach areas bore the brunt of underdevelopment, exacerbating their challenges.
Additionally, Isaac acknowledged and commended the Government on digital transformation, which expanded internet connectivity to schools. She underscored the positive impact of initiatives like introducing computers in educational institutions, emphasizing their role in enhancing learning environments. She pointed that the introduction of mother tongue as a medium of instruction stands as a significant leap towards fostering inclusivity in education.
As children of Botswana, we acknowledge the efforts made by our Parents, Government, Development Partners, Private Sector, Civil Society Organisations and other key players in ensuring our protection and care.
The State of Children’s Address drew the attention of senior government officials and key stakeholders. Following the Address, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mmamiki Kamanakao, took the floor to address the highlighted issues.
Regarding mental health, Kamanakao noted that efforts were underway to empower officials in Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support services.
On violence, she pointed out that the Government through the establishment of the Botswana Police Gender and Child Protection Unit and Child-Friendly Police Centre is working to swiftly respond to gender-based violence and child-related matters.
On the issue of parenting, she highlighted the Collaborative efforts between the Government, Civil Society Organizations, and Development Partners were underway to develop a Parenting Model and Parent-Child Communication Manual, aiming to enhance relations between parents and children.
Cross-sectoral approach to ensuring child rights
The State of Children’s Address attracted key stakeholders, such as the Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, heads of United Nations agencies, the Permanent Secretary to the President, and the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, alongside representatives from various government ministries and non-governmental organizations.