Statement at the 37th African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) 

16 March 2021 

Statement by Defence for Children International (DCI) on the 37th Session of the African Committee of  Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) 

Honorable Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, 

It is an honor and privilege to be here for this interactive dialogue with you. 

Recognizing the fact that adults’ actions in addressing violence against children have not led to any significant changes in practice, Defence for Children International (DCI) seeks to draw your attention to the urgency in investing in the empowerment of children and young people, particularly girls and young women, to be able to eliminate all forms of violence, transform gender norms and address power inequalities, and take-up participatory roles in policy formulation to bring about the much-needed change.

DCI-Sierra Leone, 2019

From our field experience and research reports, there is evidence that shows that girls can change society if they are given the space and support.

 Across Africa, there are girls and young women promoting their rights and challenging the policies and patriarchal views that give rise to gender-based violence and other harmful practices. In a defiant context of the COVID-19 pandemic and shrinking civic space, their courage and actions urgently need to be supported by the African Union and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, in particular, other mechanisms and member States. Much more needs to be achieved with constant determination and collective actions to end systemic gender discrimination and marginalization. Read the full DCI Statement to the African Committee (37th Session)