This issue focuses on child rights. Despite the enactment of the Children’s Act 2001, Kenya’s children still suffer in silence as their rights continue to be violated with impunity. And what better way to prove this than hear it from the horse’s mouth! In a hard hitting opinion piece, Wambui Njeri Muigai,12, a class six pupil at a Nairobi primary school reviews the Act and points out the atrocities being perpetrated on children.
Women activists in Malawi are waging a serious campaign against child labour, which they have identified as the major contributor to low levels of education among the Malawian girls and women. As Charles Banda reports, their efforts are already yielding fruits, with more underage girls being removed from their work places and sent back to school.
Children in countries ravaged by civil wars bear the heaviest brunt of such conflicts. An inter-faith council in the Great Lakes and the Horn of Africa’s latest report says that children by virtue of being the most vulnerable constitute the majority of millions of people who are affected by conflict and live in terrible conditions as refugees. It is against this background that faith leaders have called for their urgent protection, writes Henry Neondo.
Currently the African country with the highest adult HIV prevalence rate, Swaziland has become home to thousands of Aids orphans. As James Hall observes, the number of child headed households is also on the increase. On a positive note, however, the government is trying its level best to enable these orphans get an education.
The government of Botswana has declared total war on child abusers, especially those relatives who squander aid meant for the spiraling population of Aids orphans. Mqondisi Dube has the story.
Back to Kenya, Esther Mwangi reports that a combination of poverty, disease and cultural practices continue to deny the girl child her right to education, notwithstanding the government’s introduction of free primary education.