Zim hosts children rights conference

HARARE - The Child Rights Network for Southern Africa (CRNSA), a regional network of national child rights groups, will begin a three-day conference in Harare today that will feature 14 African countries.

Organisations set to take part in the event will be drawn from Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia.

Zimbabwe will be represented by the Zimbabwe National Council for the Welfare of Children (ZNCWC) which represents local civil society organisations under the Child Rights Coalition in Zimbabwe.

ZNCWC national director Taylor Nyanhete told the Daily News that the three-day conference will tackle a variety of issues meant to improve child rights governance in southern Africa.

“The purpose of the conference is to mobilise child rights civil society for effective engagement for a Sadc Protocol on Children and Young People, whilst strengthening the institutional capacity of CRNSA to effectively contribute to the protection, respect, promotion and fulfilment of children’s rights in southern Africa.

“The goal of CRNSA is to improve child rights governance in southern Africa through strengthened country child rights networks that effectively protect, promote the rights of children to ensure appropriate child development and child participation in decisions that affect them,” said Nyanhete.

Topics to be tackled at the conference include emerging issues such as child rights and technology; child rights and climate change as well as child rights and business.

More importantly, according to the ZNCWC national director, the conference will come up with a draft Sadc Protocol on Children and Young People.

The other highlight of the CRNSA conference will be the ZNCWC 50th anniversary dinner where several personalities and organisations will be honoured.

“Awards will be given to ZNCWC staff who has demonstrated strong commitment to their work and ZNCWC will also recognise collaborative partners that helped in advancing its mission and vision on child rights and protection.

“The ZNCWC 50th anniversary celebration will not be a one-off event. We will spend the year 2018 recognising employees, both current and retired for their contributions to the organisation.

“Other events that will form part of the celebrations include The World Play Day on May 28, Day of the African Child on June 16 and the Child Labour Day on June 18,” said Nyanhete.

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