Like every year on 16 June, the African Union and its Member States observe the Day of the African Child (DAC) as a commemoration of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, where students who marched in protest against apartheid-inspired education, were brutally murdered. To celebrate the children of Africa and calls for serious introspection and commitment towards addressing the numerous challenges Children face in Africa, the DAC 2020 theme’s will reflect on ‘Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa.
As we mark this day, let us also ensure that we put structures to safeguard and protect Children across the board by ensuring the safety of Children is priceless. This can only happen through investing time and resources to make sure that Children, their parents, coaches and the community at large are aware of the risks and what to do about them is key to success.
Having a robust and stringent vetting process and selection of all those who will work closely with Children in schools and Sports arena. This process should be formalized and those who want to work with Children should undergo police back ground Check, its might also mean to gain character reference from multiple source before working with Children.
As an organization working with Children, we are strengthening mechanisms of ensuring Children are safe by having clear safeguarding policies and protocol and we are looking forward to engaging regional Child protection custodians on the same.
In conclusion, ensuring that there is a risk assessment procedure to ensure that we are aware of the inherent risk associated with working with Children are identified as potential hazards and are rated based on the likelihood and severities are minimized. This might look like it is too much but keeping Children safe is priceless.