Minister of Women’s Affairs, who also oversees the Office of the Vice
President, has disclosed that the government has developed a four-year
comprehensive policy towards the protection of children.
“The government of The Gambia has developed a comprehensive National Child Protection Strategy with a resource-based plan of action,” Madam Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang said as she delivered her statement on the eve of the Day of the African Child, celebrated annually on 16 June.
She said the strategy, which covers the period 2016 – 2020, seeks to address the protection of children in a holistic approach and it focuses on creating a child-friendly environment.
“The strategy is premised on the fact that everyone has the ability and must be committed to making the world a better place for children, a place where every child can grow into healthy, peaceful and dignified adulthood,” she said.
According to her, most African children experience enormous challenges that affect their full development and such challenges “must be addressed by all actors in development”.
“Cognizant of this, The Gambia government has adopted a four-year National Child Protection Strategic Plan covering the period 2016-2020 and a National Social Protection Policy which focuses on advancing the development of children through reduction of vulnerability of children,” she said.
The international Day of the African Child has taken place on 16 June annually, since 1992 when it was first initiated by the defunct Organization of African Union, now renamed African Union (AU).
On 16 June 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, about ten thousand black school children marched in a column more than half a mile long, protesting the poor quality of their education and demanding their right to be taught in their own language.
The day is celebrated to raise awareness on the need for continuous improvement of education and development to African children.
This year’s theme for the Day of the African Child (DAC) is ‘The 2030 agenda for sustainable development for children in Africa: accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity’.
Every country chooses her theme to address the realities of her citizens and as a result, The Gambia national child protection partners have chosen a local theme: ‘The role of children in peace building’.