Mrs Lola Ibrahim, the President of the foundation, made the appeal in an interview.
Ibrahim spoke on the sidelines of the commemoration of this year’s Day of the African Child which is marked every June 16.
The day was recognized by the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti who spoke on the need for children to be supported and protected especially with the pandemic situation.
Today is #DayoftheAfricanChild – remembering the brave students who fought for decent education & futures in the 1976 Soweto Uprising. In the midst of this #COVID19 crisis, I urge countries, communities & caregivers to prioritise the rights, health & wellbeing of all children. https://t.co/Q1JFGCEnco
— Dr Matshidiso Moeti (@MoetiTshidi) June 16, 2020
She said that the judicial system should prosecute those practicing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), violence and other forms of abuses against children.
She stressed that the government should ensure a judicial system that would protect the rights of children and prosecute perpetrators of the crime.
“It is disheartening that in this time and age, children are being trafficked, used as cheap labour, child brides, child soldiers, sex objects, killed and rape in the society.
“Over three million girls are at risk of FMG while 200 million women and girls have been mutilated.
“Children are subjected to horrific dehumanising conditions. Their rights denied,” the NGO president said.
She also decried the number of out of school children, especially among the poor people.
She stressed the need for states yet to domesticate the the Child Rights Act to adopt it urgently, in order to address the plights of children.
“We can not exonerate the government from the persecution and injustice the children suffer, in terms of poor policies and lack of implementation
“The inequality is glaring; not only in education, but also access to healthcare.
”The opportunities to rise above the squalor, poverty and lack, and reach their full potentials is necessary.
“The Sustainable Development Goals also focuses on the rights of the child but how have we implemented these rights? How many states have adopted the Child Rights and the VAPP Law?,” she asked.
Ibrahim, therefore, called on the government and stakeholders to create conducive environment for all children to thrive and live a happy life, making education, health and social services free.
The reports state that the 2020 celebration has ‘‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa” as its theme.
It is aimed at raising awareness on the situation of children in Africa and on the need to seek justice for any injustices metted on them.