African countries have been urged to renew their commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of girls and children.
The call was made by the Africa Platform on Children Affected by Armed Conflicts (APCAAC), which joins the world in commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, annually celebrated on Oct. 11.
“Girls face unique challenges and barriers in various societies, especially in conflict and post-conflict contexts, hence the urgent need to break down these barriers for their well-being and development,” the APCAAC was quoted by an African Union statement as saying Wednesday.
The APCAAC platform, which was inaugurated in September 2021, is an initiative of the African Union (AU) and its partners that brings together individual AU ambassadors and key child protection stakeholders committed to engaging and sustaining advocacy for protecting children in humanitarian situations during armed conflicts in Africa.
“We call on AU member states to renew their commitment to protecting the rights and welfare of girls and children at all times, particularly in conflict situations,” the APCAAC said, adding that protecting the future and realizing the dreams of girls includes participation in leadership in line with the theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.”
According to the APCAAC, in conflict situations, girls are subject to widespread and systematic violations that affect them mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
It called on AU member states to take all necessary measures to ensure better documentation and monitoring along gender dimensions to ensure effective prevention and response to violations against children in conflict situations.