Social affairs’ ministry has officially launched series of activities that will mark the commemoration of the 31st edition of the day of the African child placed under the theme: “Protect every child from violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse: a priority for the Cameroonian government”.
The official launch that took place on June 1, 2021 in Yaounde was presided over by the Secretary General in the ministry of social affairs, Beryl Itoe Panje.
The ceremony that sets the pace for numerous activities to hold nationwide till June 16, date of commemoration proper was well seized to advocate further actions that will help tackle the various forms of child abuse and exploitation in Cameroon.
During the launch, Secretary General, Beryl Itoe Panje equally installed the focal intersectoral child protection team made up of various experts.
As underscored in her speech, the Secretary General said the general objective of this celebration is to conduct a prospective evaluation of actions that have been put in place to combat violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of children in Cameroon.
Activities surrounding the day of the African child as she said are in line with government’s 2030 National Development Strategy (NDS) reaffirming the commitment and determination to make social justice and the fight for exclusion the recurring theme of the social policy in Cameroon.
She said: “ the challenge for the next ten years is thus to invest sufficiently and in an efficient manner on human development of the youth such that the impending favourable situation which will be that of a low demographic dependence report coincides with the period where the economic dependence report is at its highest. In order to attain this, the state is committed in investing on human capital of the young generation in order to touch the best part of the structure of the population which will be favourable to the demographic dividend come 2030…”
The celebration of the 31st edition of the day of the African Child as recalled during the event, constitutes a major opportunity to better understand the state of children suffering from situations of violence, mistreatment, abuse and exploitation.
Speaking to the media, Mrs Itoe Panje stated that: “Together with our newly installed team, we try to see how we can fight against this violence, most especially the recurrent violence in the school milieu where students are been killed by their friends and even killing teachers…”
According to Beryl Itoe Panje, government has equally put in place some incentives to encourage young people to survive and avoid temptations and ills that trigger child abuse and exploitation. Reason why several programmes have been developed for young people.
The theme chosen for this year’s celebration by the African union: “30 years after the adoption of the Charter: accelerate the implementation of Agenda 2040 for an Africa fit for Children” has been readapted to the current context in Cameroon as she said.
As concerns the celebration of the 31st Edition of the Day of the African Child, Cameroon intends as in the past, to rely on the theme chosen by the African Union, while taking into account the major concerns that still hamper the full enjoyment by its children of the rights which are recognized to them. It is for this reason that the call launched by the African Union to accelerate the implementation of the 2040 agenda will especially find an echo this year through Aspiration No. 7, hence the choice of a national theme namely: « Protect every child from violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse: a priority for the Cameroonian Government”.
Worthy to note, one of the major activities that gives a landmark to the event in Cameroon is the children’s parliament.
The children’s parliament is a platform for exchanges between decision-makers and children. It is an opportunity for them to take an active part in the life of the City by expressing their opinions on issues concerning them, through questions and also through propositions of answers and resolutions. The one hundred and eighty (180) Junior Parliamentarians selected and grouped each year from the ten regions of the country, with different sociocultural backgrounds have the possibility to address decision-makers as well as address their own obligations.
Due to the current health situation triggered by COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 session of the children’s parliament will be special in its content and format. The session will be held both via video conference and at the national assembly.