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Children's Rights in Africa

April 29, 2015 983Views

Many people in the world take their rights for granted now a days, especially in big nations where everyone has so much. Even in strong nations, children’s rights are still subordinate and in weaker nations an issue. According to UNICEF, many children in Africa are subjected to poverty, harmful practices, conflict, abuse and a lack of education. This problem is widespread, mainly dispersed throughout the sub-Saharan Desert. All anyone really needs to do to understand this horrific dilemma is to look at the picture below

 

 

Thirst, hunger, and illness defines poverty. Poverty flourishes in Africa both children and their families are feeling it’s effects.  But some children suffer from more than just these common attributes of poverty. Many impoverished children also suffer from malnutrition, lack of education, and violence. According to Worldhunger.org, in 2008, 47 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lived on $1.25 a day or less, a principal factor in causing widespread hunger. What is even sadder is that poverty among children is caused by adults, and children can’t do anything about it. 

 

The average life of an African child will see many things, most of which aren’t good. Children start working as early as 5 years old. The United Nations Labor Organization’s data shows that close to one million children from 5-17 years old work in African gold mines. Fortunately, African countries are taking more notice of their child labor. According to the United States Department of Labor, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Mozambique adopted national action plans to prevent and eliminate child labor.

 

Abuse is considered just another affair that happens in Africa. Physical abuse will leave children in pain momentarily, but mental abuse can scar a child for life. Neglect is one of the most widespread forms of abuse according to Poverties.org. Neglecting a child can cause anxiety, depression, and dissociation. Neglected children are also less cared for and tend to have bruises, welts, swelling, burns and fractures, said the Joyful Heart Foundation. I don’t think I need to tell you what to do if you see these children.

 

Armed conflict is a serious problem in the world. Participants are mostly adults, but in Africa some soldiers are children. Both the anti-Balaka and the ex-Séléka are militant groups in Africa. According to the United Nations, these two militant groups have recently recruited several thousands of children, boys and girls. These recruited children see their share of the fighting. Hundreds of children have already been killed or maimed by firearms, machetes and other weapons, according to the United Nations. Even though these children are used in battle, it does not mean they can fend for themselves.

 

Educating these children could prevent future Children’s Rights’ issues in Africa. More educated people means more understanding and helpful people. If educated properly these children will see the unbalance in Africa and fix it themselves. The future generations of Africa will determine the future of children’s rights in Africa. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds. The United Nations data showed that 46 million African children have never set foot in a classroom. This is our job, to educate African children on what is socially correct so they don’t treat their children as badly as they were treated as a child. 

 

As you can see, African children’s civil rights issues are a big deal, these children can’t fend for themselves and need help from others. These currently impoverished children need government intervention, and for organizations such as the United Nations to step in and help. These children are in need of protection from harmful practices, abuse, conflict and they need to be educated to prevent further issues. No child should ever experience any of the conditions of poverty. Please make the world a better place and spread awareness, and help the future generations of Africa.

 

"Africa Hunger and Poverty Facts." Africa Hunger and Poverty Facts. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

"Africa's Children Struggle for Education - USATODAY.com." Africa's Children Struggle for Education - USATODAY.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

"Central African Republic | United Nations Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict."United Nations           Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict. N.p., 26 June 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect." Joyful Heart Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

"For Children & Youth." UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

"Investing in Children in Poverty & Their Parents." Poverties.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2015.

"One Million Children Labor in Africa’s Goldmines." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

"Sub-Saharan Africa." Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor -. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.

"The United Nations Working Together With the African Union To Protect Children in Armed Conflict." United Nations Office of the Special Representative of      the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict. N.p., 19 Sept. 2013. Web. 20 Apr. 2015.

Photo: Eckstien, Jessy. End to Soldiery in Africa. Digital image. Causes.com. N.p, 7 Aug. 2008. Web. 17 Apr. 2015.