Child Protection Policy is the fundamental to child protection anywhere children are found, homes, schools, places of worship etc. What is a child protection policy? It is a policy which documents the processes for child protection in a place where children are.
The Child Protection policy has two components. The first are the fundamental and foundational provisions while the second are peculiar provisions. The fundamental and foundational provisions focus on the four baskets of rights of the child as enshrined in the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. These provisions also cover the responsibilities of the child as stated in Sections 19 and 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003. The peculiar provisions are products of in-house investigations, which an expert must carry out with the full cooperation of the institution of learning with an active participation of all stakeholders in the life of the child, including children.
It is my thinking that the Child Protection Policy in Africa must take into consideration the peculiarity and the culture of our people. Culture here refers to the values peculiar to a people. It speaks of their identity. The African culture is not opposed to child protection. As a matter of fact our philosophy supports child protection.
It is our thinking as African that a child must be taught to take responsibility for his protection. It therefore means the child apart from being taught his rights must be taught his responsibility, beginning from how to be responsible for his protection. Thus the Child’s Rights Act provides for the responsibilities of the child, which I have earlier shared in this program.
Please note that until our child protection policy finds its root in our cultural identity, it will not be user friendly to our people. If it is not user friendly to our people, it will not find their blessing and acceptance. If it does not find their blessing and acceptance, it will remain a document best for mere decoration.
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