Analanjirofo region celebrates the dignity of the African child

16 June 2021
JRC Analanjirofo
UNICEF Madagascar/2021/Alida

Fénérive-Est 16 June 2021: The Region of Analanjirofo was chosen this year to mark the Day of the African Child, celebrated every 16 June – a day dedicated to the promotion of children’s right in Africa. For this year, various activities will be held in Fenerive Est, place of celebration within the framework of the childhood month in Madagascar throughout the month of June:

-The mobile courts hearing aimed at the regularization of birth certificates for 3,000 children in schools and colleges, as well as children in surrounding communities. Children with disabilities are not forgotten as part of this collective and inclusive operation.

-The awareness session led by the National Committee for the Care of the Child is conducted in a few schools on the themes: child marriage and protection against abuse and exploitation of children online - themes effectively responding to the interest of adolescents.

-In addition, there is a conference-discussion with child protection actors on child protection issues at national and regional level. A declaration of commitment to the protection of the child was signed by all stakeholders of Analanjirofo after the conference.

The mobile courts hearing attracted a lot of people. Kalo Viviana Honorette, 11 years old was present with her mother to receive her first birth certificate. Having given birth in her home with the help of a matron, her mother did not have the time or the courage to come to any office to get a birth certificate for her baby after birth. Viviana was able to attend school but being in the last year of primary school, she must have a birth certificate to take the first official final exam. This mobile courts hearing is a unique opportunity that her mother did not want to miss.

Madagascar adhered to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 1999. Specific social mobilization actions are carried out each year to give more impetus to activities making it possible to achieve the objectives set out in the said Charter.

"The agenda 2040 on an Africa Fit for Children requires continued efforts of all actors concerned. I invite all stakeholders to get involved therein to allow Malagasy children to enjoy their rights," says BAVY Angelica Michelle, Minister of Population, Social Protection and Promotion of Women.

This year, through the celebration, the Region of Analanjirofo would like to educate parents, children, the community, authorities and opinion leaders including traditional leaders on the importance of child protection.

Indeed, the child protection system remains fragile in the region :

- A low birth registration rate: 31% of children under 5 are not registered in the civil register (national birth registration rate of children under 5 is 79%),

- A high rate of child marriage: 44% of women aged 20-24 and 18% of men aged 20-49 are married before the age of 18, whereas the national average is 40% for women and 12% for men. Child marriage is a violation of human rights, thus compromising children's development and often leading to early pregnancy and dropping out of school.

UNICEF is loyal to its mandate by supporting the government in the implementation of activities to promote the rights of the child at the institutional and community levels. Among others:

- The defence of children's rights through the establishment of Child Protection Networks, capacity building of its members in terms of protection and medical, psychosocial and legal care of child victims, sensitization of parents on the promotion of the rights of the child.

- The reduction in the child marriage rate and the teenage pregnancy rate by the deployment of training sessions following the "life skills" approach with adolescents, in order to increase their resilience and the development of life skills. 

- The prevention and response to violence in schools through the establishment of a student club to promote the rights and protection of children.

"On the occasion of Day of the African Child, we remember all the challenges that the children of Madagascar are facing in the exercise of their rights, especially now that the world continues to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic," said Michel Saint-Lot, Representative of UNICEF in Madagascar. "Every child has the right to a nationality, to live far from fear and violence, and to have access to basic education, health, water and sanitation services. In collaboration with our partners, UNICEF is working to make these aspirations a reality."

 

 

Journée de l'Enfant Africain
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Timothy James Irwin
Chief of Communication
UNICEF Madagascar
Fanja Saholiarisoa
Communication Officer
UNICEF Madagascar

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