5 July 2012 – This year’s Day of the African Child was commemorated under the theme ‘The Rights of the Children with disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfil’.
Out of fear, shame and strong traditional beliefs, disabled children in Togo are often ridiculed, hidden indoors for years and neglected, cutting them off from normal life and worsening their plight.
A 17-year-old, who lost his sight at the age of ten due to river blindness, speaks for many of Africa’s children with disabilities when he says: “I thought it was the end of my world, but with education, I am hopeful that I will be useful in society and not be a beggar in the streets.” Bai Kamara is enrolled at the UNICEF-supported Educational Centre for the Blind and Visually Impaired in the capital Freetown where work is underway to put the Sierra Leone Child Rights Act into Braille.
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, has expressed dismay over the rising cases of discrimination against children with disabilities.
First Lady Madam Penehupifo Pohamba has implored parents who have children living with disabilities to actively get involved in skills development and the education of their children.
Oxford dictionary defines disabled as people with a permanent illness or injury that makes it difficult for them to use part of their body completely or easily . Also, The Child Rights Act 2003 law defines a child as a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years. Therefore, the physically challenged children are under age that need to be nurtured and assisted to overcome physical, emotional and mental challenges to develop into responsible adults.
Selection of documentaries on key Child Rights issues in Africa from various sources.