What the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) has meant to my child rights practice

  • How does Zambia compare with other Southern African countries in defining minimum age for criminal responsibility, leaving school and employment?
  • Where can we get examples of good practical Africa-specific child participation mechanisms?

Check the ACPF’s, ‘In the Best Interest of the Child: Harmonising Laws in Eastern and Southern Africa Report.’

  • Where can we find a good practice case study on diversion from the criminal justice system?

Try the ACPF’s, ‘Realising Rights for Children: Good Practice in Eastern and Southern Africa.’

  • Which is the best child-friendly African Government?

Read the ACPF’s series of, ‘The African Report on Child Wellbeing of 2008: How Child-Friendly are African Governments?’

  • How can we analyse the Zambian budget from a child perspective?

Read the ACPF’s, ‘The African Report on Child Well being of 2011: Budgeting for children.’

The above are some of the frequently asked questions by programming staff and my responses in our organization, the Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA), a human rights, not for profit, non governmental organization that promotes and advocates child rights. To us at ZCEA, the ACPF has been a hub of well researched Africa – specific information and data on a variety of issues and topics that enhance the realization of children’s rights in Africa. The ACPF has helped us a local NGO to advocate and pressure our government to implement both article 4 of the CRC and article 1 of the ACRWC to ensure its full compliance to the provisions in both the CRC and the ACRWC to which it is a State party.

The ACPF has further been a pillar of support and solidarity for common collective action in Africa such as the elimination of violence against children. It has organized many meetings across the continent to bring together various experts from multi disciplines to bear on the root causes, legal reforms, responses and rehabilitation of child victims of violence which has resulted in gains in progressive positive impact on governments’ policies. In Zambia we can cite the prohibitions of corporal punishment, removal of school going age girls for marriage and gender based violence in the Education Act of 2011. The further inclusion of a specific clause for children in the Bill of Rights of the draft Constitution 2012 has been a result of intensive lobbying backed by evidence generated by the ACPF. Personally, thank you ACPF for facilitating the process of my election as the East and Southern African representative on the International NGO Council on Violence against Children (InCo – VAC) and support of my missions to attend the InCo – VAC’s meetings.