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Day of the African Child

International Day of the African Child (Photo source: UNICEF)16 June 2014 -- In 1976, thousands of black school children took to the streets of Soweto, South Africa. In a march more than half a mile long, they protested the inferior quality of their education and demanded their right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down by security forces. In the two weeks of protest that followed, more than a hundred people were killed and more than a thousand were injured.

To honour the memory of those killed and the courage of all those who marched, the Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16 June every year since 1991, when it was first initiated by the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union).

Sources: UNICEF, ChildFund,

Selected learning materials

Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
One of four modules developed by the Child Labor Research Initiative of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (Iowa, USA), this module contains four highly flexible and adaptable lesson plans appropriate for high school students. Teachers can teach a lesson within 1-2 class periods to introduce the subject or fully integrate the materials into the classroom throughout the year.

Our Homes, Our Lives, Ourselves: A Fun Book to Help Young People Get the Issues Right Concerning Women in Human Settlements Development
A booklet intended to help teenagers get an idea what it is like to be a woman. They do this by reading, thinking and investigating the role of women in various ways. The booklet includes a board game ('The Game of Life') and sections on finance, land, information, networking, and the environment.

Siniko. Towards a Human Rights Culture in Africa: A manual for teaching human rights (Amnesty International)
This manual is for teachers and educators in Africa who work with young people both in formal and non-formal education.

Study Guide on the Rights of Children & Youth
This guide introduces the main issues, international standards and protection mechanisms to protect and promote the human rights of children and youth.

International treaties on children's rights:

Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989)

Simplified version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1999)

Useful links

Child Rights Information Network (CRIN)

Commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2013 (African Union)

Day of the African Child (organisation)

Millennium Campaign

Right to Education Project



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