Promoting the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Initiative supported by 2014 Publication
Contact Information:Beatrice Arionget Ekallam : Project Coordinator
The Pan African Children's Charter Project,African Union Liaison & Pan African Program Office: Plan International Inc,
Suite 201 (2nd Floor) TK Building, Bole Sub-CityP.O.Box 5696, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tel/Fax: +251 11 66 10 182.
Initiative supported by
Background and Introduction to the Compilation 5
Brief History of the African Children’s Charter Project 5
Overview of the African Children’s Charter Project 5
Brief Profiles of ACCP Consortium Members 7
Plan International 7
Plan International Staff 7
Plan Sweden 8
Save the Children Sweden (SCl) 8
Save the Children International (SCI) 8
African Child Policy Forum 9
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa 9
Community Law Centre 10
Other Affiliated Partners 10
Highlights of ACCP Successes and Challenges 11
Structure of the Compilation
ACCP-Supported Documents of the ACERWC 13
1. The ACERWC Communications Plan (2013-2017) 13
2. Collaborative Plan of Action between the ACERWC and the RECs 13
3. Action Plan on Collaboration between ACmHPR and ACERWC 13
4. Action Plan to Increase Collaboration Between the APSA andthe ACERWC 14
5. General Comment on Article 30 of the ACRWC [ACER WC/GC/01(2013)] 14
6. General Comment on Article 6 of the ACRWC[ACER WC/GC/02(2014)] 14
7. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2012 14
8. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2013 15
9. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2014 15
10. Revised Guidelines for Consideration of Communications by the
11. Workshop to Review and Harmonise the Rules of Procedure of theACERWC, ACmHPR and ACtHPR 16
12. Recommended Revision of the Draft Rules on the CommunicationsProcedure of the ACERWC 16
13. Revised Draft Rules of Procedure of the ACERWC 17
14. Memorandum for Harmonization of the Rules of Procedure of theACERWC with that of the ACmHPR and ACtHPR 17
Chapter Three 17
ACCP-Supported Documents of CSOs 17
1. CSOs Complementary Report, Conduct and Participation inACERWC Pre-session Guidelines 17
2. Engaging the Permanent Representatives Committee of the AfricanUnion - A Civil Society Strategic Plan of Action (July 2014) 18
3. Civil Society Organizations Advocacy Plan - A Tool/Document ForEngaging With the APSA 18
4. Child Consultations on the theme of the DAC – Consultation Report 19
5. CSO Strategy to Promote Child Rights in the ACmHPR 19
6.Online Knowledge Management Platform on the ACRWC andACERWC 19
7.Advancing Children’s Rights – CSO Guide to the ACERWC inArabic and Portuguese 19
8. Compendium on Civil Society Processes around the African Union 20
9. Concept Note on workshop on Child Rights in the ECOWAS Region 20
10.Inception Report (Evaluation and Assessment of the group of CSOForum on the ACRWC 2009-2014) 20
11. Advancing Children’s Rights: Child-Friendly Version of the ACRWC 21
21Chapte For ur
AC PrCP ojec Mat nagemen Dot cuments 21
1. ACCP - 2012 and 2013 Annual Review & Planning Reports 21
2. ACCP Consolidated Work Plan 2012, 2013 22
3. Plan International Inc. 2012 Audit 22
4. ACCP report from Review and Planning meeting November 2012 22
5. AU Liaison & Pan – African Program Office, Plan International INC Reports & Publications 22
ACCP African Children’s Charter Project
ACERWC African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
ACmHPR African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
ACPF African Child Policy Forum
ACRWC African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
ACtHPR African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
AU African Union
CLC Community Law Centre
CSO Civil Society Organisation
DSA Department of Social Affairs
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
IHRDA Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
PRC Permanent Representatives Committee
PSC Peace and Security Council
SADC Southern African Development Community
SCI Save the Children International
SCS Save the Child Sweden
SIDA Swedish International Development Assistance
AMC Africa-wide Movement for Children
APSA African Peace and Security Architecture
E & Y Ernst & Young
WARO West Africa Regional Office
Background and Introduction to the Compilation
Brief History of the African Children’s Charter Project
The African Children’s Charter Project (ACCP) was conceived in 2009 by Plan Sweden as a strategic initiative to improve the lives of children in Africa through the enhanced implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) throughout the institutional, political and public spheres of the African Union (AU).
The conception took a unique form when Plan Sweden discussed the idea of the ACCP with four other child-focused institutions to form a consortium of partners to undertake the project. Thus, Save the Children Sweden (SCS) [now Save the Children International (SCI)], African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) and the Community Law Centre (CLC) of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) joined Plan International to form the first ever partnership of its kind for the advancement of children’s rights within the framework of the African Union. The partnership was built on previous collaborative efforts between these institutions in various settings, their complementary strengths, individual specialisations, knowledge and experience working with the AU and its human rights mechanisms and with civil
society working on children’s rights and welfare in Africa.
Bound by their common vision of improving implementation of the ACRWC, the five consortium members set to work from 2010 to develop a project proposal for the ACCP to raise $2.5 million from the Swedish International Development Assistance (SIDA) to fund the Project, which was envisaged to run for four years from 2011 to 2014. Throughout 2010, the consortium members held a series of consultations and meetings to draft, revise and finalise the project proposal. Recognising the crucial role of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) – and considering that the ACERWC was a key beneficiary of the project – the ACCP was formally presented to the Committee at its 17th Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 21st to 25th March 2011. During the presentation, the consortium members and the Committee had a very constructive discussion on the ACCP and its intended impact. The ACERWC thereafter gave its blessing to the project, paving the way for consortium members to commence with activities planned over the four-year period.
Overview of the African Children’s Charter ProjectThe ACCP is a multi-partner, multi-locational four-year project whose central goal is to promote the implementation of the ACRWC in the AU through three key strategic entry points, namely:
• Directly supporting the work of the ACERWC;
• Working with the ACERWC to promote children’s rights and wel-fare in the internal and external environments of the AU; and
• Strengthening civil society’s capacity to engage with AU bodies onchildren’s rights issues.
The ACCP is anchored on the shared and individual experience, competence and collaboration in advancing children’s rights issues and other human rights matters through AU institutions, mainly in:
• Providing technical support to the work of the ACERWC;
• Facilitating coordination between AU human rights mechanisms onchildren’s rights issues; and
• Supporting and strengthening the involvement of African civil soci-ety organisations (CSOs) in monitoring the implementation of theACRWC.
The Project is also designed to respond to some key challenges facing the advancement and visibility of children’s rights issues within the AU, which often had not commanded significant political space and attention within the Union’s structures. Consequently, the Project focused on addressing these three major inter-related challenges:
" The lack of sufficient financial, human and technical capacity of the ACERWC necessary to enable it fulfil its mandate;
" Insufficient collaboration between AU institutions and bodies re-sponsible for children’s issues; and
" Insufficient civil society engagement with the ACERWC.
Three core strategic objectives were then developed to be met by the ACCP in resolving these challenges, namely:
" Strengthen the capacity of the Committee of Experts to implement its strategic plan (2010-2014);
" Promote children’s rights and welfare in African Union institutions, bodies and mechanisms; and
" Strengthen civil society to use AU mechanisms, and especially the ACERWC’s mechanisms, to promote children’s rights and welfare in Africa.
Project were consequently developed jointly by ACCP consortium members, the ACERWC and its Secretariat, the AU Commission Department of Social Affairs and CSOs participating in the CSO Forums on the ACRWC. At the conclusion of the ACCP, these targets are expected to be achieved:
" An ACERWC which carries out its mandate effectively and per-suades other African governments to prioritise children’s issues;
" An ACERWC which is visible and recognised in the pan-African political and public arena, including among children, states and CSOs in Africa;
" The ACERWC and child rights CSOs collaborate with multiple AU bodies to promote and implement the African Children’s Charter, with a particular focus on collaboration with the African Commis-sion on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACmHPR), the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACtHPR), Regional Economic Communities (especially SADC and ECOWAS), the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), and the Peace and Security Council (PSC);
" AU political organs integrate children’s rights in their areas of work;
" UN agencies support effective collaboration between the ACERWC and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child;
" African civil society organisations, children and youth are aware of the African Children’s Charter and work with the ACERWC to promote the Charter and its implementation.
Bringing together consortium members across geographic and operational boundaries presented daunting challenges but also brilliant opportunities to craft a working relationship that would provide the most efficient way of delivery on the Project’s activities. Consequently, a system of ‘lead partner’ and ‘supporting partners’ was developed. Consortium members opted to be lead partner on those activities which fell in their areas of expertise, competence and operational advantage. Leading the activity involved taking overall responsibility to ensure its successful execution. Supporting partners provided assistance such as reviewing documents and selecting consultants to undertake assignments under an activity. A Project Coordinator was recruited to run a secretariat for the day-to-day management of the Project. A Project Management Committee comprising ACCP focal persons in each of the consortium members was formed to support the Project Coordinator in the operational management of the Project. A Project Committee made up of the heads of the consortium members was established to provide overall strategic direction and guidance to the ACCP.As the ACCP draws to an end in 2014, the consortium members look back with pride at the successes achieved in managing a multi-institutional and multi-locational project of this magnitude, the increased visibility of the ACERWC and children’s issues in the AU and the strengthened collaboration between CSOs working on children’s rights in Africa.
Through the challenges, the ACCP has also taught consortium members many useful lessons on how to work together internally and how to engage with an external audience such as the AU as a collective unit.
Brief Profiles of ACCP Consortium Members
Plan International (Plan) was created in 1937 as a child-centred community development organisation. Plan’s vision is of a world in which all children realize their full potential in societies which respect peoples’ rights and dignity. Using a right-based approach to programming, Plan works with children, their families, communities, local organizations, governments and inter-governmental organization to achieve lasting improvements for children living in poverty in
Plan International SDtaff
developing countries. In Africa, Plan has substantial programs in 24 countries across the continent. It has two regional offices to coordinate these programs: one in Nairobi for Plan’s programs in East and South Africa; and one in Dakar for programs in West Africa. It has also established a Pan-African Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to strengthen its collaboration with the AU on children’s rights. Plan also has enjoyed Observer Status with the ACmHPR since May 2009.
Plan Sweden was created in 1997, and is one of Plan International’s 17 “National Organisations”. These National Organisations are constituted as separate legal entities with their own Board and governance mechanisms but they share the same goals, values and programmatic framework as Plan International. Sweden plays a central role in raising funds for Plan programs worldwide, and is one of Plan’s leading offices in terms of international advocacy for children’s rights, supporting Plan International’s initiatives at the UN, the AU, and the EU and at national levels. Plan Sweden has been supporting Plan’s advocacy work at Pan-African level since 2008.
For further information on Plan’s work, see www.plan-international.org and www.plansverige.org.
Save the Children Sweden (SCl)
Save the Children Sweden (SCS) is the consortium member, together with Plan International, responsible for the ACCP’s design and oversight as well as being responsible for the implementation of specific activities within the project. SCS’ involvement is a collaboration between Save the Children programmes in East Africa (Nairobi), West and Central
Africa (Senegal), Southern Africa (Pretoria), Save the Children’s Africa Advocacy Office (Addis Ababa) and Save the Children Sweden’s Head Office (Stockholm).
Save the Children has Observer Status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and was the first international NGO to be granted Observer Status with the ACERWC in 2010.
For further information on SCS’ work, see www.raddabarnen.se
Save the Children International (SCI)
Save the Children international (SCI) is one of the main implementers of the project’s activities through its offices:
" Save the Children’s Regional Programme in East Africa has been a prime mover behind the ACCP together with Plan. It coordinates Save the Children’s work on the ACCP and plays an overall project supporting role.
" Under the ACCP Proposal for the extension of the project to 2015-2016:
" Save the Children’s Regional Programme for Southern Africa will participate in objective 2 activities to reach SADC, as well as objec-tive 3 activities to strengthen civil society in Southern Africa to use AU mechanisms for child rights.
" Save the Children’s Regional Programme based at the Senegal Coun-try Office in Dakar, Senegal will participate in and coordinate some activities under objective 2 to reach the ACHPR and ECOWAS, as well as objective 3 activities to strengthen civil society in West Africa to use AU child rights mechanisms.
" Save the Children’s Africa Advocacy Office in Addis Ababa will be engaged in most activities but focus on those of objectives 1 and 2, and particularly those involving engagement with the PRC and PSC.
For further information on SCI’s work, see www.savethechildren.net
For further information on SCI’s work, see www.savethechildren.org.
African Child Policy Forum
The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) is a leading, independent, not-for-profit, pan-African centre of policy research and dialogue on the African child. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ACPF was established with the conviction that putting children first on the public agenda is fundamental for the realisation of their rights and wellbeing and for bringing about lasting social and economic progress in Africa. ACPF aims to specifically contribute to improved knowledge on children in Africa; monitor and report progress; identify policy options; provide a platform for dialogue; collaborate with governments, inter-governmental organisations and civil society in the development and implementation of effective pro-child policies and programmes and also promote a common voice for children in the developing world. ACPF believes that knowledge, advocacy, policy dialogue, partnership and collective action are key for effecting change in Africa. ACPF’s work draws on good practices and that which is positive in African culture and tradition.
ACPF has also worked closely with the ACERWC on numerous activities namely: providing technical presentations on thematic issues concerning children in Africa; providing the ACERWC with up to date statistical and thematic country reports to facilitate in their deliberations
when examining State Party reports; as well as inviting the ACERWC to important policy conferences and forums to make presentations on the status of children’s rights on the continent and suggest key priority areas for action. ACPF also enjoys Observer Status with the ACERWC.
For further information on ACPF’s work, see www.africanchildforum.org.
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) was founded and established in 1998 as a pan-African non-govern-mental organisation based in Banjul, the Gambia. IHRDA is registered as a charitable institution under the laws of the Gambia. Though headquartered in Banjul, IHRDA works across the continent by building strong partnerships and networks with national, regional and international NGOs working is various African countries, as well as working directly with victims of human rights violations.
IHRDA works to create awareness about African regional human rights mechanisms and to increase their accessibility, usage and effectiveness. IHRDA’s principal focus is ensuring that the enforcement mechanisms of African human rights treaties are an effective instrument for redress of human rights violations on the continent. IHRDA believes that this can be achieved if these mechanisms are independent, accessible, efficient, dynamic, and better utilised by all, including African civil society. IHRDA therefore focuses its activities on both strengthening these mechanisms themselves and improving civil society’s interaction with them. Through litigation, advocacy and capacity building, IHRDA demonstrates that the use of the African regional instruments and mechanisms provide an important avenue for securing human rights and reparations.
Since its inception, IHRDA has offered its technical expertise to the ACERWC, ACmHPR and the ACtHPR). IHRDA was the first to apply for and be granted Observer Status and also filed the second communication before the ACERWC and obtained the first decision on the merits.
For further information on IHRDA’s work, see www.ihrda.org.
Community Law Centre
The Community Law Centre (CLC) is based at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. CLC is a multi-sectoral research institution focusing on multi-level government, economic and social rights, children’s rights, rights of incarcerated persons and prison reform, and citizen
empowerment in democratic governance. The Centre is founded on an illustrious history of playing a major role in the development of South Africa’s democratic constitution in the early 1990s, and the other important laws such as the Children’s Act and the Child Justice Act. CLC has also undertaken advocacy leading to South Africa’s ratification of UN human rights instruments such as the Convention Against Torture and its domestication. CLC also enjoys Observer Status with the ACmHPR.
One of the CLC’s past doctoral researchers – and now a Professor and head of the Children’s Rights Project (CRP) Dr Benyam Mezmur, is the current Chairperson of the ACERWC and Vice-Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The CRP works towards the recognition and protection of children’s rights within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the ACRWC and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It places particular emphasis on juvenile justice, child protection, in particular the prohibition of corporal punishment, family law, the rights of children with disabilities and child labour. The CRP also focuses on supporting child law reform processes in Africa, in partnership with UNICEF under the African Child Law Reform Project.
For further information on CLC’s work, see www.communitylawcentre.org.za.
Other Affiliated Partners
The ACCP consortium works closely with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) and its Secretariat. The ACERWC is an 11-member body established by the AU in accordance with the ACRWC to promote and protect the rights and welfare of the child in Africa. As the principal beneficiary of the Project’s outputs, the consortium members maintain a close working relationship with the Committee as a collective and with
CLC representative (l) and Director of IHRDA (r) studying some documents
individual Members where necessary. The ACERWC Secretariat maintains regular operational contact with the ACCP Project Coordinator and focal persons in the consortium members on activities.
The ACERWC is supported by the AU Commission’s Department of Social Affairs (DSA, which has operational responsibility for the work of the ACERWC within the African Union. Given the Department’s strategic position to the ACERWC and the AU’s programmes for children’s rights and welfare, the ACCP partners also maintain a close working relationship with the DSA.
Highlights of ACCP Successes and ChallengesOver the last four years, the ACCP has been able to etch its name in advancing children’s rights in the AU in the annals of the continental organisation. Some of the modest but noteworthy gains made include the following:
" Strengthened both internal partnership within the ACCP consorti-um and externally with AU bodies on children’s rights issues;
" Increased advocacy on children’s rights such as was done in Maputo, Abuja and in Banjul;
" Participation in various forums, which facilitated direct engagement between the ACERWC and other stakeholders, for example, the Da-kar conference on strengthening child protection system;
" Increased visibility of the ACERWC;
" Increased CSOs knowledge and capacity to engage with the ACER-
WC and other AU institutions on children’s rights issues; and
" Enhanced networking and collaboration among child-focused CSOs and NGOs through support to the CSO Forums on the ACRWC.
Some of the challenges that the ACCP has faced in its life-span include:
Limited profiling of the Project;
Initial difficulties in getting the Project off the ground;Lack of a common understanding of the Project by all ACERWC members and consortium members at the initial phase;Limited ability of partners to fully anticipate the complexity and magnitude of the Project which became visible as the Project pro-gressed; and
Lack of effective communication on Project developments among consortium members and the broader child rights sector on the con-tinent.
Structure of the CompilationAmong the achievements of the ACCP are the production of a number of documents and publications such as the strategic plans for building collaboration between the ACERWC and other AU human rights bodies and Organs, and between CSOs as well as the translation of the CSO Guide to the ACRWC into Portuguese and Arabic.
Accordingly, in order to preserve the institutional memory and success of the ACCP, the idea of putting together a reference guide or compilation of the documentary and publications outputs as evidence of the impact of the ACCP was mooted. Thus, while not diminishing
the importance of other gains made under the Project, the substantive content developed as a result of the Project, namely documentary outputs, provide a useful reference point for showcasing the positive impact of the ACCP. The documentary outputs themselves are intended to be easily accessible by all persons working for and with children. Accordingly, the compilation of this reference guide is an overarching strategic post-Project objective.
This Compilation is therefore an initiative of the ACCP Coordination Office as part of efforts to preserve the institutional memory and outputs of the ACCP.. The document is divided into three chapters. The first chapter is an introductory one giving a brief history and overview of the ACCP, profiles of the Consortium member, successes and challenges of the ACCP and this structural overview of the Compilation. The second
chapter gives brief summaries of the documents of the ACERWC developed with the support of the ACCP. The third chapter also presents brief summaries of documents of CSOs developed with the support of the ACCP. A final annexure to the Compilation is a photo collage of the ACCP in action, showing consortium members at work on various activities.
Representatives of ACCP consortium members in a discussion
Representatives of ACCP consortium members in a working session
ACCP-Supported Documents of the ACERWC
1. The ACERWC Communications Plan (2013-2017)
The Communications Plan was developed by SCI. The purpose of the ACERWC Communications Plan is to operationalize key communication roles and objectives of the Committee under the Plan of Action (2010-2014). The underlying objective of this Plan is to, among other things, popularise and raise the profile of the Committee; promote the implementation of the Charter among Member States; gather and disseminate information on child rights and welfare of the child and enhance the participation of various stakeholders. In order to achieve the objective of the Communication Plan, a matrix has been developed which identifies a communication objective, addresses a number of communication problems related to that objective, and proposes key communication activities that should be implemented. The matrix also includes possible communication channels/tools, responsible person(s), timeframe and output and outcome indicators.
2. Collaborative Plan of Action between the ACERWCand the RECs
The Collaborative Plan of Action was developed by SCI. Its primary
aim is to pull together efforts, to extend the reach and to scale up the impact of the work of the ACERWC, to avoid duplication and leverage scarce resources in the service of the African chid through the effective implementation of the ACRWC. The collaboration with RECs is necessitated by the important roles the RECs play in the goal of Africa’s economic and political union. The Plan of Action highlights the strengths and weaknesses of collaboration with RECs; and concludes that the strengths could drive collaboration with RECs through Liaison Offices while the weaknesses could hinder effective collaboration if an action plan fails to adequately mitigate them. The Action Plan provides a table that sets out immediate objectives to realise the goals of the collaboration; short, medium and long-term actions required to achieve each objective and expected outcomes.
3. Action Plan on Collaboration Between ACmHPR and ACERWCThe Action Plan for Collaboration between the ACmHPR and the ACERWC was developed under the leadership of IHRDA. The Plan is available in English and French. The Action Plan is anchored on the existing initiative by the ACmHPR to establish a working relationship with the ACERWC through its 2009 Resolution establishing a formal relationship between the two bodies. The Action Plan therefore does three key things. First, it maps out the complementary roles that the ACmHPR and the ACERWC play in the promotion and protection of children’s rights and investigates the complementary relationship that should exist between the two bodies. Second, it proposes a framework for collaboration. and third, it presents an action plan with activities and timelines to actualise the framework for collaboration. The Action Plan however is currently being reviewed to include the ACtHPR, given its critical role as a treaty body in the African human rights system and close relationship to the ACmHPR and ACERWC.
4. Action Plan to Increase Collaboration Between theAPSA and the ACERWC
In July 2014 an Action Plan to increase effective collaboration between the African Peace and Security Architecture and the ACERWC was designed. To strengthen this collaboration, the Action Plan recommended three important outputs including putting an agenda item on children within the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), having the APSA and the ACERWC incorporate their respective concerns in their statutory mandates and increasing collaboration between the APSA and the ACERWC, particularly on the issue of the rights and welfare of the child. In designing the Action Plan, the fundamental message of ensuring the best interest of the child is the golden thread running through the proposed actions. The success of the action plan will be dependent on the universal ratification of the ACRWC.
5. General Comment on Article 30 of the ACRWC[ACERWC/GC/01 (2013)]
The development of the ACERWC’s first General Comment was led by CLC. The final text of the General Comment was adopted by the Committee at its 22nd Ordinary Session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia held from 4 to 8 November 2013. The General Comment focuses on article 30 of the ACRWC which protects the rights of children of imprisoned mothers. The General Comment highlights the plight of children incarcerated with their mothers who have infringed the law and the attendant human rights violations that such children suffer. The General Comment therefore seeks to guide State Parties on the import of article 30, recommends constitutional and other legislative changes to better protect children of incarcerated mothers and requests feedback from
States in their Reports on how article 30 is being implemented. One of the notable highlights of the General Comment is the extension of the term ‘mother’ to cover primary or sole care-giver of the child where such a person is not the direct biological parent.
6. General Comment on Article 6 of the ACRWC[ACERWC/GC/02 (2014)]
CLC also led the development of the ACERWC’s second General Comment on article 6 of the ACRWC. This General Comment was adopted by the Committee during the 23rd Ordinary Session held in Addis Ababa from 7 to 16 April 2014. Article 6 of the ACRWC protects the child’s right to birth registration, name and nationality. The General Comment opens with a situational analysis of birth registration and the child’s right to a nationality in Africa, noting the associated problems of statelessness and discrimination between men and women in the passage of nationality to their children. The General Comment then discusses the principles underlying article 6, the substantive content of the article around the three core rights of name, birth registration and nationality as well as the State’s duty to prevent statelessness. The document also addresses the provision of remedies for violations of the article and concludes with recommendations to States on implementation of the article.
7. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2012
The Concept Note to guide national celebrations of the Day of the African Child (DAC) for 2012 was developed under the leadership of CLC. The Concept Note was on the theme of the DAC, ‘The Rights of Children with Disabilities: The Duty to Protect, Respect, Promote and Fulfil’. The
document discusses a new way of looking at disability, highlighting the shift from the ‘medical model’, which viewed disability as arising from a medical condition, to the ‘social model’, which focuses on disabling environments and social structures (including attitudes) rather than the person with the disability. The Concept Note also addresses the causes of disability in Africa, the normative framework for protecting children with disabilities and 6 key areas of concern namely: the link between poverty and disability; social attitudes, stigma and discrimination; access to education; violence against children with disabilities; the importance of statistics and data collection; and the right to be heard and to participate. Activities are also suggested to commemorate the DAC 2012 together with a monitoring and evaluation framework.
8. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2013
Developing the Concept Note for the DAC 2013 celebrations was also led by CLC. The theme for the celebrations was ‘Eliminating Harmful Social and Cultural Practices Affecting Children: Our Collective Responsibility’. The Concept Note examines harmful social and cultural practices as a human rights violation within the context of the African human rights instruments including the ACRWC and the UN CRC. It also highlights the call by the UN Study on Violence Against Children for States to prohibit all forms of violence against children, including harmful social, cultural and traditional practices. The Concept Note also highlights some areas of concern including the prevention of violence against children; harmonisation of laws; institutional frameworks; collaboration between stakeholders; and the importance of data collection and research. As with previous documents, there are suggested activities for the celebrating the Day as well as a monitoring and evaluation framework for the ACERWC to obtain feedback on the celebrations from States.
9. Concept Note on the Commemoration of the DAC 2014
CLC was again the lead ACCP consortium member overseeing the development of the Concept Note for the DAC 2014. The DAC was on the theme, ‘A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa’. The document begin with a clarification of the key concepts implied in the theme such as ‘education’, ‘basic’ and ‘primary’. The Concept Note also provides a brief situational analysis of children’s education in Africa as well as the legal and normative standards to guarantee a child-friendly, quality, free and compulsory education. The areas of concern identified in the 2014 Concept Note cover: early childhood education; expansion of access to education for vulnerable groups of children; expansion of access to secondary education; quality of education; gender balancing in education; and private and religious schools. A number of activities are proposed to commemorate the Day and a monitoring and evaluation framework included for States to report back to the ACERWC on their national celebrations.
10. Revised Guidelines for Consideration ofCommunications by the ACERWC
The revision of the ACERWC’s Guidelines on Communications was led by CLC and later supported in that role by IHRDA in view of IHRDA leading the revision of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure. The Revised Guidelines are more detailed and clearer in its provisions when compared to the previous Guidelines. The revised document is also largely harmonised with the Rules of Procedure of the ACmHPR and the ACtHPR in an effort to ensure uniformity in the procedures of the three continental treaty bodies. New provisions on legal aid,
review of decisions by the ACERWC, amicus curiae (friend of the court) submissions and recording of proceedings have been included in the Revised Guidelines. Efforts have also been made to present these rules for submission and consideration of Communications in simple language that can be understood by persons who wish to submit Communications to the ACERWC.
11. Workshop to Review and Harmonise the Rules ofProcedure of the ACERWC, ACmHPR and ACtHPR
A workshop to review and harmonize the rules of procedure of the African Committee of Experts on the Rules and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) was held from the 9th – 10th December 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania under the leadership of IHRDA. The objectives of the workshop were to revise the communications procedure of the ACERWC and harmonize the Rules of Procedure of the ACERWC with Rules of Procedure of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Right (ACmHPR) and African Court on Human and Peoples Right (ACtHPR). At the end of the workshop the participants come up with a matrix to review the communication procedure of ACERWC from Rule 69 – 103. Another matrix and memorandum was developed to assess and harmonize the rules of procedure of the ACERWC with the rules of procedure of the ACmHPR and ACtHPR.
12. Recommended Revision of the Draft Rules on theCommunications Procedure of the ACERWC
Suggested amendments were made on the following rules: Rule 69: Communication procedure, Rule 70: Consideration Proprio Motu, Rule 71: Precautionary measures when dealing with urgency situations,
Rule 72: Preliminary review of the communication by the secretariat, Rule 73: Condition for consideration of a communication, Rule 74: Requirements for consideration of a communication, Rule 75: Preliminary processing of a communication by the secretariat, Rule 76: Determination of admissibility, Rule 77: Exhaustion of domestic remedies, Rule 78: Duplication of procedures, Rule 79: Other grounds of admissibility, Rule 80: Working group on admissibility, Rule 81: Decision on admissibility, Rule 82: Procedure of the merits, Rule 84: On-site investigation, Rule 85: Amicable settlement, Rule 86: Withdrawal from proceedings. Rule 87: Discontinuation of consideration by committee, Rule 88: Determination of the merits of a communication, Rule 90: The decision on communication, Rule 91: Time limit for implementation on decisions on communication, Rule 92: Referral of the case to the court, Rule 94: It is recommended that this Rule be merged with Current Rule 100. Current Rule 100 addresses follow-up on Committee decisions, Rule 95: Certification of reports on communication; Rule 96: Third party interventions, Rule 97: Exemption, withdrawal or inability of a Committee to participate in consideration of a communication, Rule 98: Preliminary Objections, Rule 99: Review of Committee decisions; Rule 100: Follow-up on implementation of the Committee’s decision on a communication.
The following rules were recommended for complete removal since they are already enlisted in the other rules as indicated. Rule 89: Report on merit be removed to avoid duplication with rule 90, Rule 93: Publication of the report be removed to avoid duplication on rule 91 and finally Rule 101 – 103 is as referenced in rule 91.
13. Revised Draft Rules of Procedure of the ACERWC
The Arusha workshop participants came up with revised draft Rules of Procedure for the ACERWC. The revised procedures are divided into Chapters, Chapter I Guidelines on the Committee and members; Chapter II Bureau of the Committee, Chapter III Secretariat to the Committee; Chapter III Secretariat to the Committee; Chapter IV Finances of the Committee; Chapter V Language; Chapter VI Sessions; Chapter VII Agenda of Sessions; Chapter VIII Conduct of Business; Chapter IX Voting; Chapter X Records; Chapter XI Special Mechanisms; Chapter XII Reports of the Committee; Chapter XIII State of Reporting; Chapter XIV General Comments; Chapter XV General Rules; Chapter XVI Final Provisions
14. Memorandum for Harmonization of the Rules of Proce-dure of the ACERWC with that of the ACmHPR and ACtHPR
A matrix and memorandum were developed to harmonize the Rules of Procedure of the ACERWC with the Rules of Procedure of the ACmHPR and the ACtHPR. The matrix gave a good comparison on the Rules of Procedure of the three treaty bodies. The first difference identified concerned the working languages; the second difference concerns communications from States; a separate paper is provided on the communications procedure in general. A close look of the Rules of the Committee and Commission suggests that there are very different approaches; the third difference concerns matters of urgency. Other provisions considered are conduct of business, voting and choice of wording for time limit. All the above as described in the matrix show the differences in approach and the memorandum goes ahead to suggest measures of how to reconcile the differences.
ACCP-Supported Documents of CSOs
1. CSOs Complementary Report, Conduct and Participation in ACERWC Pre-session Guidelines
These guidelines were developed by SCI. The purpose of theGuidelines is to improve and enhance the format and content of
the Complementary Reports, and participation in Pre-sessions. The Guidelines have been divided into two parts; with part one having two sections. Section one of Part One has general provisions which spells out the definition of the terms ‘Complementary Report’ and ‘Pre-session’; the aims and purpose of a Complementary Report; and the values and principles that should guide the preparation and presentation of a Complementary Report. Section two of Part One of the Guidelines provides for the content and format of a Complementary Report, which must follow the exact format of a State Report. Part Two deals with the purpose of a Pre-session, participation in and conduct of Pre-session as well as other miscellaneous provisions. Engaging the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union - A Civil Society Strategic Plan of Action (July 2014)
This Strategic Plan was developed by the ACPF. The purpose of the Strategic Plan of Action is to engage with and lobby the PRC; strengthen
the PRC’s capacity and influence the PRC to promote and protect the rights and wellbeing of children as it discharges its functions. To achieve this, a number of goals, objectives and activities have been identified for the period of 2014-2016. The organisations tasked with oversight responsibility for the implementation of this strategic plan are the Africa Wide Movement for Children (AMC) and the CSO Forum. With these organisations acting as focal points, regular monitoring and evaluation of the progress of activities under the Strategy shall be conducted by child-focused NGOs. This will be achieved using existing monitoring and evaluation plans and systems already available to those organisations.
Representatives of ACCP consortium members in an annual planning meeting
2. Engaging the Permanent Representatives Committeeof the African Union - A Civil Society Strategic Plan of Action (July 2014)
This Strategic Plan was developed by the ACPF. The purpose of the Strategic Plan of Action is to engage with and lobby the PRC; strengthen the PRC’s capacity and influence the PRC to promote and protect the rights and wellbeing of children as it discharges its functions. To achieve this, a number of goals, objectives and activities have been identified for the period of 2014-2016. The organisations tasked with oversight responsibility for the implementation of this strategic plan are the Africa Wide Movement for Children (AMC) and the CSO Forum. With these organisations acting as focal points, regular monitoring and evaluation of the progress of activities under the Strategy shall be conducted by child-focused NGOs. This will be achieved using existing monitoring and evaluation plans and systems already available to those organisations
3. Civil Society Organizations Advocacy Plan - A Tool/Document For Engaging With the APSA
In May 2014 an Advocacy Plan aimed at ensuring an effective and increased engagement between CSOs and the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) with particular focus on the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (PSC) was drawn. Underscoring the need for CSOs to support efforts aimed at promoting and protecting child rights and welfare in Africa, this Advocacy Plan seeks to provide guidance in terms of how CSOs can work closely with the APSA in order to ensure the effective and improved protection of child rights and welfare in Africa through African Union, particularly in conflict areas. The Advocacy Plan provides a discussion on the normative
framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture, it provides a comprehensive guide to CSOs for purposes of engaging with APSA in general and PSC in particular, by unpacking the role of CSOs in Africa, it further translates the purpose, goal and objectives of the Advocacy Plan in a user-friendly matrix format. The matrix is largely informed by the legal instruments of the African Union, particularly the PSC Protocol; the Livingstone Formula; and the most recent Maseru Conclusions.
4. Child Consultations on the theme of the DAC –Consultation Report
The consultations with children were led by Plan-West Africa Regional Office (WARO), which were synthesised into a Report. The consultations were held to ensure that children participated actively in the selection of themes for the DAC and to also solicit their views on the celebration of the DAC in general. The Report therefore documents consultations with more than 70 children and youth aged between 12 and 22 years from Benin, Egypt and Malawi. Consultations in the first two countries took place between August and September 2012, while that in Malawi took place in October 2012. The consultations covered knowledge of children’s rights, knowledge of the DAC, an assessment of the level of participation of children in issues affecting them and proposal of themes for the DAC in 2014 and 2015.
5. CSO Strategy to Promote Child Rights in the ACmHPR
The CSO Strategy to Promote Child Rights in the ACmHPR was developed under the aegis of IHRDA. The rationale for the Strategy is to mainstream children’s rights into the work of other AU human rights bodies by exploring the opportunities available in the normative
and institutional framework. The Strategy therefore harnesses the opportunity of the 2009 ACmHPR Resolution establishing a formal relationship between the ACERWC and ACmHPR to make recom-mendations for practical collaboration between the two institutions. The Strategy also identifies other interventions such as collaboration on communications, enhanced roles of ACERWC and ACmHPR liaison and increased CSO involvement in these interventions. The Strategy also recommends more efficient use of CSO forums such as the NGO Forum preceding the ACmHPR Sessions and the CSO Forum on the ACRWC to advance children’s rights in the work of the AU human rights bodies.
6. Online Knowledge Management Platform on theACRWC and ACERWC
The Online Knowledge Management Platform on the ACRWC and ACERWC was developed under the aegis of ACPF. The Online Knowledge Management Platform is a comprehensive information resource on the ACRWC, ACERWC and child rights and welfare issues in Africa in general. It provides a wide range of documents, research, analysis, laws and policies that are freely accessible to policy-makers, researchers, students and all persons working with and for children. The Platform includes the African Child Information Hub, a one-stop shop for child rights resources which is available in English and French; the Data and Statistics Portal, which is a section of the Information Hub providing statistical information; and the Child Law Resources Portal, where one can find a plethora of legal documents related to child rights at the regional, sub-regional and national levels.
7. Advancing Children’s Rights – CSO Guide to theACERWC in Arabic and Portuguese
The second edition of ‘Advancing Children’s Rights – A Guide for Civil Society Organisations on how to engage with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child’, was translated into Arabic and Portuguese under the leadership of Save the Children International (SCI) East and Central Africa Regional Office. The translation of the Guide into these two African Union languages opens up CSO engagement with the ACERWC to a large number of civil society stakeholders from Arabophone and Lusophone Africa, who had mostly been unable to work effectively with the Committee due to linguistic differences. The second edition of the Guide has been updated with information on the work of the Committee, its membership, working documents and developments that have taken place in the child rights sector since the publication of the first edition in 2009.
8. Compendium on Civil Society Processes around theAfrican Union
The Compendium on Civil Society Processes around the African Union was also developed under the leadership of SCI East and Central Africa Regional Office. As the AU works strategically to increase its impact on Member States and individual Africans, the role of civil society and citizen-driven processes become pertinent to its goal. However, civil society has been constrained in its engagement with the AU due to lack knowledge of how the AU functions at the regional level and how it can directly influence the lives of ordinary people at the national level. In addressing this challenge, the Compendium has been developed to provide child-focused civil society organisations with a comprehensive guide to how the AU interacts with civil society. The Compendium
also provides these organisations with a tool to facilitate principled partnership with the AU in its processes around civil society. The Compendium therefore maps out all the key AU organs and institutions and the modalities through which civil society can work with them.
9. Concept Note on workshop on Child Rights in theECOWAS Region
The Concept Note provides a background to issues of Child Protection in the ECOWAS Region. In light of those issues, in 2012 a monitoring and evaluation framework for Child Protection System in the ECOWAS Region was developed. The Framework specifies the different components or standards that need to be established for an effective Child Protection System. The Framework identified ten standards. One of these standards or components is Compliance with International Legal Frameworks. Objectives were set to achieve this standard as well as the methodology to be adopted; expected outcomes and sources of funding were all highlighted. The Concept Note set dates for the meeting of ECOWAS member states and the meeting for the African Civil Society Organisations. It also provides for the list of expected participants and the budget for the workshop.
10. Inception Report (Evaluation and Assessment of thegroup of CSO Forum on the ACRWC 2009-2014)
The Report provides a background to the mandate of the ACRWC and the role of the CSO Forum on the ACRWC. The overarching objective of the assessment is to assess the activities and accomplish-ments of the CSO Forum and develop a strategy for the CSO Forum in a participatory manner. The report enumerates five objectives of the consultancy assignment. The assignment had two parts; an evaluation
and assessment part and the development of a CSO Forum strategy.
The evaluation and assessment methodology proposed in the report was a participatory and consultative one, in order to measure the achievements and changes brought about by the CSO Forum. Based on the assessment/ evaluation report and findings, a draft strategy will be developed for the CSO Forum. The Report also highlights the sources of data, analysis and outline of the final draft of the Strategic Plan.
11. Advancing Children’s Rights: Child-Friendly Version ofthe ACRWC
A child-friendly version of the ACRWC was developed under the leadership of Save the Children to complement the publication, ‘Advancing Children’s Rights – A Guide for Civil Society Organisations on how to engage with the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child’. This child-friendly document presents the ACRWC in simple language and in a manner that can easily be understood by children. The document is also beautifully illustrated with drawings from children themselves, depicting their views and understanding of child rights.
ACCP Project Management Documents
1. ACCP - 2012 and 2013 Annual Review & Planning Reports
The 4-year ACCP held its first annual review and planning workshopin Kampala, Uganda in November 2012 with representation
from the 5 Consortium members. The workshop brought together participants from 13 African countries. The workshop discussions focused on 4 thematic areas which included; internal reflections, project overview and status of project activities, working together and effective collaboration between the ACERWC and its Secretariat, project management and consortium members' updates on main events, achievement and issues affecting them over the last year. At the end of the workshop, commitments were drawn from the discussions to enable continuous and effective monitoring of the project progress using a monitoring and evaluation framework for satisfactory performance.The second ACCP annual review and planning workshop was held in November 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop brought together 21 participants drawn from ACCP consortium members, ACERWC and Project Secretariat. The stakeholders made up of 5 consortium members shared project updates and review of the project performance focusing on the following key areas; changes in one’s organizational structure, changes in key
personnel at consortium member level, and the effects of external elements/issues from the past year. At the workshop each consortium member drew out clear activity plans for 2014. The workshop was concluded with a discussion on the strategic thematic areas of focus for 2014 and beyond and this included; how to work with CSOs and widening the scope of engagement, how to work together, how to involve children and dissemination protocol. Supplementary remarks were also drawn on how to strengthen the child rights issues, disseminate information, consortium member engagement and monitor the project progress.
2. ACCP Consolidated Work Plan 2012, 2013
The ACCP Consolidated Work Plan is prepared by and under the leadership of the Project Coordinator. The Work Plan are the central operational planning reference documents for consortium members to track their activities and the status of implementation. The Project Coordinator’s office has developed work plans for 2012 and 2013. The work plans are informed by the annual progress reports submitted by consortium members and the decisions taken at the annual planning meetings. Each activity is clearly identified by its number, the lead and supporting partners, a description of the activity, relevant history and status of implementation, budgetary allocation and time-frame.
3. Plan International Inc. 2012 Audit
Ernst & Young (E & Y), certified public accountants based in Nairobi – Kenya carried out an audit of the income and expenditure statements of the ACCP for the period January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012. From the audit and from the opinion of E & Y, the statement of income and expenditure presented fairly in all materials aspects noting that the
income and expenditure have been prepared under the historical cost convention.
4. ACCP report from Review and Planning meetingNovember 2012
This is a report from the Annual Review and Planning Workshop held from 30th October to 1st November 2012 in Kampala, Uganda. It has been divided into four sections; with each section capturing a series of activities undertaken by participants during the workshop. Section one captures the internal reflections of participants on performance, implementation management and future of the project; as well as lessons learned from the project. Section two contains extensive discussions held on the status and future of each of the project’s 35 activities. This includes the annual budget summary per consortium member and the expenditure information in a table format. Section three captures the outcomes of the discussions on effective collaboration with the ACERWC and its Secretariat. Section four captures news and updates of the consortium members. This includes their achievements and other issues affecting them.
5. AU Liaison & Pan – African Program Office, PlanInternational INC Reports & Publications
The ACCP was for a period of four years, from 2011 to 2014. The most important goal of the Project was to improve the lives of children in Africa by the fulfilment of their rights. To achieve this goal, the Project aimed at promoting the implementation of the ACRWC through: a strengthened ACERWC; and increased engagement of African civil society organisations with the Committee. The Project sought to achieve three objectives by various activities. Objective one sought
to strengthen the capacity of the Committee of Experts to implement its strategic plan (2010-2015). Objective two sought to promote children’s rights and welfare in African Union institutions, bodies and mechanisms. The third objective sought to strengthen civil society to use AU mechanisms, and especially the ACERWC’s mechanisms to promote children’s rights and welfare in Africa. The Project produced a number of reports and publications, with the key ones in English and French, which have been described in this compilation of publication outputs.
ACERWC Secretary (r) and Child Rights Legal Researcher at the ACERWC Secretariat (l)
Photo Collage CD
Annex – ACCP Photo Collage CD
Promoting the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
The African Children’s Charter Project main partners
1. Plan International (Regional Offices for East and South Africa andfor West Africa)- Lead organization
2. The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and its Secretariat
3. The African Union Commission Department of Social Affairs4. Save the Children Sweden Eastern and Central Africa Regional
Office, Southern Africa Regional Office and Western Africa RegionalOffice, Save the Children Pan-African Advocacy Office, and SouthernAfrica office
6. The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)7. The Institute of Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA)8. The Community Law Centre (University of Western Cape) (CLC)
Contact Information:Beatrice Arionget Ekallam : Project Coordinator
The Pan African Children's Charter Project,African Union Liaison & Pan African Program Office: Plan
International Inc,Suite 201 (2nd Floor) TK Building, Bole Sub-City
P.O.Box 5696, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tel/Fax: +251 11 66 10 182.
5. Save the Children International