Oct 8, 2012, 10:34 AM
At least 25 media practitioners drawn from different media outlets recently benefited from a one-day sensitisation forum on the African Report on Child Well-being 2008 findings and recommendations, organised by the Child Protection Alliance with funding from Action Aid, at NaNa conference hall in Bakau.
Addressing the participants, Mr. Njundu Drammeh, Child Protection Alliance National Co-ordinator, who made a presentation on the findings and recommendations of the report, said the report mainly focuses on African governments. Noting that it is not a criticism of any government, he said, it serves as a resource material on child well-being, given the health of information on its contents.
According to Mr. Drammeh, the report provides a coherent framework and helps shape public policy.
He defined a child friendly government as one that's dedicated to meet its obligations towards respecting, protecting and fulfilling child rights, and to ensure child well-being.
For the CPA National Coordinator, child friendliness in a government is reflected in a form of conductive legal and policy foundation for the protection of children.
Dilating on the main obligation of governments, he said, governments are obliged not to take away a child's rights or make it difficult for him or her to gain access to these rights.
He also told participants that governments must increase awareness on child rights and must take positive steps towards assisting children who do not realise their rights.
Mr. Drammeh revealed that the ranking of the report depends on dimension of child friendliness in various components, such as child protection (legal and policy framework), budgetary commitment for children (expenditure on health and education), and child related outcomes (health education, and nutritional).
In 2008, the African Child Policy Forum, a Pan-African NGO based in Ethiopia, published a groundbreaking report entitled "the African Report on Child Well-being," which provides an insight into the well-being of children in Africa, and assesses the extent to which African governments meet their obligation to children in their countries.
African countries were ranked through a groundbreaking child friendliness index and in term of performance in realising the rights and well-being of children, through legal and policy frameworks for child protection and budgetary commitments.
The Gambia was ranked as one of the least child friendly governments in Africa, 49 out of 53 countries.