The International Day of the African Child is celebrated every year on June 16 and this year’s theme is: “The Rights of the Child in the digital environment”.
Technology and times have changed since the establishment of the annual observance but too many African children still lack the fundamental human rights that drove young South African students in Soweto to protest against education injustice and inequality in the apartheid regime, only to be ambushed and massacred by police on 16 June 1976.
The day was instituted in 1991 and aims to celebrate children of Africa and promote their rights, as well as encourage reflection and action toward addressing the challenges they face on a daily basis.
The African Child is still faced with cultural biases, environmental sentiments, religious and ethnic biases even as his or her rights to education, health, good life, welfare, housing, expression are also being denied on a daily basis by those who are supposed to protect them.
With the number of internet users in Africa reaching 590 million in 2022, including a significant portion of children, it is imperative to address this emerging child protection challenge, the report recommends.
As Nigeria joined the rest of Africa to commemorate the Day of the African Child, (DAC), United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), has called on government and other stakeholders to exploit the opportunities offered by digitalization for the learning and development of Nigerian children.
UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, who made this call in a statement made available to newsmen in Makurdi, said “Digital technology provides us with a platform to innovate and seeks ways for inclusive quality education for all children”